Tibial Plateau Fracture
A tibial plateau fracture is a break in the top of the tibia (shin bone). The tibia supports the body’s weight, so when a fracture happens, the body is unable to absorb movement and shock from walking or standing. This type of fracture occurs in both bone and cartilage, leading to a high likelihood of developing arthritis from injuring cartilage cells.
Tibial plateau fractures happen when a force drives the tibia up into the knee joint. Most are the result of falls, car accidents, and sports injuries. Other factors, such as osteoporosis and mineral deficiencies that weaken the bones, can make the knee more likely to experience fractures.
Symptoms of tibial plateau fractures include pain or discomfort in the knee and leg, inability to put weight on the leg, swelling, bruising, and lack of mobility.
Physicians will conduct a thorough physical examination and assess symptoms and medical history to diagnose tibial plateau fractures. Imaging tests such as X-rays and MRIs are also used to properly diagnose this condition.
Surgery is often avoidable in fractures that have not shifted. Non-surgical treatments include non-weight bearing casts or hinged knee braces, along with physical therapy and rest. Fractures that have shifted will require surgery.