Tibial Spine Fracture

Overview

This fracture happens in the center of the knee, between two cushions of cartilage known as the “menisci.” It involves a bony protrusion we call the “tibial spine.” It’s where the anterior cruciate ligament (commonly called the “ACL”) attaches to the tibia. A tibial spine fracture can cause the knee to become unstable.

Causes

You can fracture the tibial spine by hyperextending your knee. That’s when your knee is extended past its normal range of motion. That can happen during a bicycle crash, or while playing contact sports. This type of fracture is more common in children whose bones haven’t fully developed.

Symptoms

A tibial spine fracture is painful. You feel pain in the center or in the front of your knee. You may have trouble putting weight on your leg. Your knee may bruise and swell.

Treatment

Treatment options depend on your fracture. Your knee may heal with a brace or cast. Medications may help. If you have a severe fracture and bone or tissue has shifted out of position, you may need surgery.