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J Athl Train. 1994 March; 29(1): 32, 34-35.
PMCID: PMC1317756

Tibial Plateau Fracture in a Female Soccer Player: A Case Study

Jeff A. Giulietti, ATC
Jeff A. Giulietti is Graduate Student in the Master of Physical Therapy Program at Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, PA 16057
Craig R. Denegar, PhD, ATC, PT
Craig R. Denegar is Associate Professor at School of Physical Therapy, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock.

Abstract

In general, tibial plateau fractures are rarely associated with noncontact, twisting, injuries to the knee in athletics. A 23-year-old woman sustained a noncontact valgus injury to her left knee while playing indoor soccer. Evaluation on-site and the following morning revealed no deformity and only mild pain over the anterolateral tibial plateau. All stress tests of the knee were negative. A 2+ effusion was noted the day after injury, causing us to suspect an internal derangement of the left knee. A nondisplaced tibial plateau fracture was confirmed by radiographs. The patient was treated non-operatively with a hinged knee brace and protective weight bearing with axillary crutches. Ten weeks following the injury, radiographs revealed a healed fracture, and the patient was instructed to gradually increase her athletic activity. The mechanism of injury and symptoms suggested injury to the tibial collateral ligament and anterior cruciate ligament. The physical examination findings, however, led us to believe otherwise. It is important to recognize that valgus stresses to the knee can result in damage to structures other than the soft tissues (ie, tibial collateral ligament). This injury resulted in a nondisplaced tibial plateau fracture that healed uneventfully with appropriate nonoperative treatment.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Burri C, Bartzke G, Coldewey J, Muggler E. Fractures of the tibial plateau. Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1979 Jan-Feb;(138):84–93. [PubMed]
  • McConkey JP, Meeuwisse W. Tibial plateau fractures in alpine skiing. Am J Sports Med. 1988 Mar-Apr;16(2):159–164. [PubMed]
  • Rasmussen PS. Tibial condylar fractures. Impairment of knee joint stability as an indication for surgical treatment. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1973 Oct;55(7):1331–1350. [PubMed]
  • Spindler KP, Schils JP, Bergfeld JA, Andrish JT, Weiker GG, Anderson TE, Piraino DW, Richmond BJ, Medendorp SV. Prospective study of osseous, articular, and meniscal lesions in recent anterior cruciate ligament tears by magnetic resonance imaging and arthroscopy. Am J Sports Med. 1993 Jul-Aug;21(4):551–557. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association