What makes tibial plateau fracture different from other bone damages? Find out below.
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A tibial plateau fracture is a break in the upper part of the shin bone. In addition to the fracture, damage to the muscle, soft tissues, bones, skin, ligaments, blood vessels and nerves also commonly accompany the injury. These injuries must all be treated together, often times by surgery, to restore motion, stability, and strength of the leg.
You may sustain minor breaks from excessive activity or from weakened bones (caused by either infection or cancer). Most cases usually result from trauma or injury.
Most cases for younger people are usually caused by a fall from a considerable height, vehicular accidents or sports. Older people may sustain the injury by simply falling down from standing because of their weakened bone quality.
Different tests may be prescribed by the doctor which may be unrelated to your injured leg. These tests are needed to check that no other part of your body is injured.
The injury can be treated using surgical or non-surgical methods (casting, braces, physical therapy and medication). Both methods carry their own risks and benefits. The doctor prescribes the treatment based on the type of damage the injury has caused while considering the patient’s needs. Factors such as lifestyle, expectations, and medical condition will be considered amongst many things before a doctor prescribes a method of treatment.
Performing surgery to fix the joint is often done for active individuals. This method maximizes joint motion and stability and minimizes the risk of developing arthritis. Surgeons may use different methods to align the bone fragments and keep them together as they heal.
Open Reduction Internal Fixation (ORIF) is the procedure where the bone fragments are positioned back to their original place and held together by special devices such as plates, screws or intramedullary rod. There are times when the soft tissues’ condition has degraded too much that using a rod or plate may cause more damage. External fixators may be used as treatment and will be removed after the healing is done.
External fixators are surgically set using screws or metal pins and are placed between the thigh and shin bones. The screws and pins are then attached to a bar which is outside of the skin. This treatment holds your bones in the right position until you have recovered enough and surgery can be done.
The tibial plateau fracture recovery process requires strict compliance to post-surgery or post-treatment plan which typically involves:
Check out this video from Dr. David Geier to learn more about tibial plateau fractures:
In the end, learning more about tibial plateau fracture can help you to a speedy recovery. Everyone’s case is unique, and it’s important to consult with a doctor immediately if you are experiencing symptoms to prevent it from getting worse. Be sure to follow your doctor’s advice to prevent any complications that may arise.
What advice do you have for people experiencing a tibial plateau fracture? Tell us in the comments section below!
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