Fracture of the lateral tibial plateau: what does this mean?

Patient: Mildly depressed acute fracture of the lateral tibial plateau ? What exactly does this mean ?

Doctor: The tibial plateau is one of the most critical load-bearing areas in the human body; fractures of the plateau affect kne e alignment, stability, and motion. Early detection and appropriate treatment of these fractures are critical in minimizing patient disability and reducing the risk of documented complications, particularly posttraumatic arthritis. All high-energy fractures need to be immediately checked for soft-tissue integrity and impending compartment syndrome. The overall management can be one of the following: Joint aspiration, rest, immobilization, compression, elevation, and other antiedema measures, traction can be used as a temporary or definitive management modality. Open fractures need to be addressed by surgical debridement of open traumatic wounds within 8 hours of injury. Closed fractures undergo external fixator placement based on patient stability and operating room availability. Not all fractures of the tibial plateau require surgery; some may be treated with cast and traction if they are non-displaced and stable. The follow-up with imaging studies is done every 2 weeks for 6 weeks; with activity restriction for 4-6 months. Open or arthroscopic-assisted techniques are considered for fractures with displacement.