What is a Tibial Plateau Fracture?

Also known as the “shin bone,” the long, prominent bone in your lower leg is called the tibia. The tibial plateau is the area of bone that stretches between the regions where the tibia nears the knee and ankle joints. When this proximal surface becomes broken or splintered, the injury is referred to as a tibial plateau fracture. Tibia fractures are relatively uncommon, making up only 1% of all fractures in the general population and just approximately 8% of fractures in the elderly.

Causes

Age and bone density play a role in tibial plateau fractures. However, the most important factor in the occurrence of a tibial plateau fracture is the incident that caused the bone to break or shatter. Tibial plateau fractures may be caused by:

  • High-impact traumas or falls
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Direct blows to the area
  • Related fractures
  • A stress or “hairline” fracture becoming exacerbated over time

Symptoms

You may be suffering from a tibial plateau fracture if you encounter:

  • Pain when bearing weight on the affected leg
  • Tenseness around the knee
  • Visible deformities around the knee
  • A pale, cool foot
  • Numbness around the foot

The OrthoCARE Treatment Approach

Often, tibial plateau fractures result in damage to surrounding soft tissues. For this reason, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately if you believe you are sustaining a tibial plateau fracture. Failure to do so may result in the development of post-traumatic arthritis, improper knee alignment and a permanently altered range of motion.

A division of the integrated Lumin Health network, OrthoCARE Institute provides individualized, patient-centric care for a number of orthopedic concerns, including tibial plateau fractures. During your visit, we will carefully examine your injury to determine the severity of your condition. After obtaining a complete diagnosis, our experienced orthopedic specialists will build a treatment plan tailored to your unique condition and goals.

Generally, we encourage conservative treatments before recommending surgery as a solution. Bracing and casts can be extremely effective for patients suffering from well-aligned breaks accompanied by minimal dislocation or tissue damage.

When a tibial plateau fracture is very severe, surgery may become a necessity to obtain proper alignment and restoration. When correcting a tibial plateau fracture, surgery may involve stabilizing plates, rods, bone grafts or synthetic additions that stimulate rapid bone healing.

For more information about tibial plateau fractures or OrthoCARE Institute, call us directly at 972-573-7802 or fill out the form on our Contact Us page. We are committed to helping you achieve optimal healing and look forward to helping you fully heal your leg.