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Tibial Plateau Fractures

Tibial Plateau Fractures

Tibial Plateau Fractures services offered in Austin, Lakeway and Cedar Park, TX

Tibial plateau fractures commonly occur due to trauma, such as car accidents, slips and falls, and sports injuries. At Austin Foot & Ankle Institute, in Austin and Bee Cave, Texas, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Pedro E. Cosculluela, MD offers non-operative and surgical treatments for tibial plateau fractures. After an exam, they can determine the best treatment and optimize your healing process. Call the nearest office to request treatment for a tibial plateau fracture today, or make an appointment online.

Tibial Plateau Fractures Q&A

What are tibial plateau fractures?

A tibial plateau fracture is a crack or break at the top of your shin bone. It occurs near the bottom of your kneecap –– an area surrounded by ligaments, muscles, and nerves. 

If you fall or injure your knee and your symptoms don’t improve with rest, ice, or elevation, contact Austin Foot & Ankle Institute immediately.

What are the symptoms of tibial plateau fractures?

Symptoms of tibial plateau fractures include:

  • Difficulty bearing weight on your leg
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Pale skin due to decreased blood flow
  • Joint pain when sitting or standing

You may have a visible abnormality, like bone breaking through your skin, depending on the fracture’s severity.

How are tibial plateau fractures diagnosed?

Your doctor reviews your health charts and asks about your injury, including what you were doing when it occurred, what it feels like, and if the pain is worse when you stand up or place weight on your affected knee.

Next, your doctor examines your knee and shin. They check for swelling, redness, and bruising and press on your skin to identify sensitive areas. 

Radiographs of the knee are obtained during the visit to assess the fracture. In most cases, additional imaging, such as CT scan or MRI, is ordered to obtain a better idea of the fracture configuration.

How are tibial plateau fractures treated?

Treatment of tibial plateau fractures depends on the location and severity of the damage. 

Dr. Cosculluela treats tibial plateau fractures using a scale called the Schatzker Classification System. The system classifies tibial plateau fractures based on their severity. Therefore, a Schatzker Type 6 fracture is more serious than a Schatzker Type 1 fracture.

After determining your fracture’s Schatzker Type, your doctor may suggest:

  • Resting your knee
  • Wearing a knee splint
  • Taking pain medication
  • Ice and elevation

If you have a severe fracture, your doctor may recommend surgery. During orthopedic surgery, they use screws and plates to realign your bone and encourage your body’s healing process. 

Call the nearest Austin Foot & Ankle Institute office to request treatment for a tibial plateau fracture today or make an appointment online.

In addition to performing a thorough history and physical examination, we will obtain new radiographs of the foot and/or ankle during your visit. If radiographs have already been done, our physicians will review those radiographs and any additional studies - MRI, CT, bone scans, etc - that are available through our PACS access to local facilities. We also offer durable medical equipment - braces, boots, OTC casts - at the office. We have relationships with local orthotic and prosthetic shops for those who need more specialized bracing and orthotic care. Additional services include diagnostic and therapeutic injections with steroids, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and other stem cell preparations.