Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Knee News

Riveting Results after Knee Fracture

The knee joint is formed where the thigh bone (femur) meets the shin bone (tibia). The top of the tibia forms a shelf called the tibial plateau. This is also the bottom half of the knee joint. Various muscles and ligaments hold these bones together.

These bones can be fractured during an injury. A high-energy fracture to the tibial plateau can occur when the knee is injured in a car accident, during a fall, from the impact of a bat or other object, or during sports activity.

When the tibial plateau is fractured, the joint is damaged. There is usually severe soft tissue injury. The knee becomes unsteady or unstable. Surgery is commonly needed to repair the damage. Screws and wire are used to hold the bones together while healing takes place. Torn ligaments and muscles are also repaired.

Most of these surgeries have a good outcome. The bottom surface of the knee along the tibial plateau seems to heal well. This is true even when there has been a severe injury. Two to five years later, patients typically have good range of motion and have returned to work without problems. Even workers with jobs that involve hard labor have good results. Generally, no additional surgery is needed. Only a few patients have any long lasting knee joint problems.

Dennis P. Weigel, MD, and J. Lawrence Marsh, MD. High-Energy Fractures of the Tibial Plateau. In The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. September 2002. Vol. 84-A. No. 9. Pp. 1541-1551.


*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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