A fracture is a bone break.

tibial plateau fracture
This is a tibial plateau fracture extending into the joint line.


Key issues with fractures involving the knee

A fracture may be 'open' or 'closed' - an open fracture is one that has broken the skin, and thus it carries a greater risk of infection. A closed fracture is more common, and usually there is a much less potential for infection. The next big issue is the degree of displacement and the stability of the fragment/s - if there is no displacement and the fragments are stable then simple immobilisation may suffice to allow bone healing in a good position. If the fragments are displaced or the joint is unstable, then the surgeon will try hard to reduce the fragments to a good anatomical position and then fix them with plates or screws or similar devices until healing occurs. It is important also to assess any damage to nerves and blood vessels.


Interpretation by our editor of a 2016 article about tibial plateau fractures and their outcome.

Tibial Plateau Fracture

Tibial plateau fractures are important because they affect the joint line, and need to be recognised early and treated expertly.

Common joint surface problems in the knee

A quick overview of the problems one sees in the white joint cartilage at the end of the bones in the knee joint.



Fractures around the knee in children. Zionts LE. J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2002 Sep-Oct;10(5):345-55.

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