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Sports Medicine

Tibial plateau fracture (non-displaced)

01/16/2007

Question:

ON 11-19-06 I suffered a non-displaced fracture to my tibial plateau, no soft tissue damage. I began PT immediately as per my OS, who stated no surgery needed only time. I went back to work on restricted duty (I am a Police Officer, injured during a scuffle) After 6 weeks I had a follow up MRI which showed a progression of the fracture. My question is should I of been off the knee for any amount of time. As I sit here now I am experiencing throbbing pain and stiffness, worse then when injury occurred. What is common treatment for a non-displaced fracture of the tibial plateau.

Answer:

Usually conservative therapy after a non-displaced tibial plateau fracture is the norm.  A short period of immobilization followed by physical therapy usually improves function and return to usual activities and minimizes the risk of a blood clot from prolonged immobilization.  However, since your MRI shows non-union with progression, a more aggressive approach will likely have to be taken.  Discussion with your surgeon will determine whether surgery or casting is the best option.  I hope this helps.

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Response by:

Charles Webster, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati