Tibial Plateau Fracture
Tibial Plateau Fracture Care
In surgical terms, there are 6 different classifications of tibial plateau fractures, depending on the severity and the nature of the injury. However, broadly speaking fractures of the tibial plateau can be separated into two main groupings: Displaced and Non-displaced fractures.
For fractures that have not shifted, surgery may not be needed. The most common non-surgical treatment is a short leg, non-weightbearing cast or a hinged knee brace, combined with physical therapy and rest. Fractures that have shifted require surgery.
Non displaced tibial plateau fracture
A non-displaced fracture of the tibial plateau is when the tibia sustains a break or crack without a fragment of the bone becoming separated. These fractures normally have a better future outcome than displaced fractures and usually, heal without surgical intervention within 3-4 months. Within this time the patient may be required not to weight bear and to wear a knee brace on the injured knee.
Physical therapy rehabilitation exercises are needed to maintain leg strength soon after injury and should be continued throughout the recovery phase.
Displaced tibial plateau fracture
A displaced fracture is one where the bone breaks into two or more fragments. In this case, surgery is normally needed to re-fix the fragments in place to encourage correct healing of the bone tissue. This fixation is usually achieved by placing screws and/or plates in and around the bone fragments to keep them secure.
Recovery following surgery may take a number of months and will require the patient not to weight bear for a long period of time. If soft tissue injuries have been sustained this recovery process may take longer.