Tibial Plateau Fracture, No Surgery?


I've been lurking on this board for awhile, so I thought I would finally post and share my experience with my TPF.

It was interesting to see that this is a fairly common MX injury. I actually did mine bailing from an aerial at the local skatepark. I've been skateboarding for 33 years and never hurt myself this bad! I'm also an avid Trailrider here in Norcal.

When I landed and heard my leg pop, I knew it was bad. Of course I tried to walk it off, but that didn't work this time. I walked 100 yards to my car and drove 1/2 hour to the ER in lot's of pain.

I'm a Kaiser member so I went there. After much runaround and consternation, they finally xrayed and CT'd my knee and found I had a very clean Tibil Plateau Fracture and Avulsion Fracture of the Tibial Eminence. they didn't seem concerned about any ligament or meniscus injury even though my ACL had been thoroughly stretched in the injury. No Surgery/Hardware!

I was sent home with an immobilizer and RICE order.

After four weeks I requested a functional brace and was released to start working on flexion and extension as well as quadricep exercises. I also began taking Calcium and Vitamin D supplements.

At twelve weeks I went to WBAT and began walking with the walker. After five days, I am now walking with one crutch and have begun formal Rehab. My ROM is currently 110 degrees with 15 degree extension and 125 degrees of flexion. Laxity of the Ligaments seems to be minimal if not non-existent. I have been given more core strength exercises to work with and hope to be full weight bearing and walking by mid-October.

I was very skeptical of the conservative non-surgical approach to my injury at first, but so far things have progressed very well. Maybe I've been lucky?

Anyway, I hope to be back on the bike and the board in a few months. Any feedback on this type of injury and long term issues would be appreciated!


I am recovering from a tibial plateau fracture. I had surgery! Three screws and a bone graph. They said I can't put weight on it for 3 months! I did it on September 1st.

i broke my right one highsiding off my dr650.i wore a cast for 3 weeks and was on crutches for 2 the back at work after only 5 weeks.this injury occured at age 36 and 10 years later it is good as new except or the age thing and the fact that i still abuse it regularly.the left is another story.5 monthes after the first break i blew up the other.i put all my 240 lbs on it and twisted creating a spiral fracture starting at the plateau.to make matters worse i was getting up from the ground and slipped putting a big jolt into the leg causing more damage.surgery with 6 screws up to 4" in length 100 day of no walking and loss of range in movement.man i love this sport.i still ride and race 30+ weekends a year and don't go a week without some knee pain.right now i just seperated my left shoulder on sunday.so the fall season is pretty much shot.the more you put into your rehab the better off you'll be.i never stretch enough and can't blame anyone but me for that.teach your kids to golf if you don't want them hurt but don't try to convice me that motorcycles aren't the greatest thing ever.just gotta quit falling.....:excuseme:

oh, and i sold that pos dr650. it looked like a dirt dike...:excuseme:

15 degrees extension and 110 degrees flexion at 4 weeks is very poor. I had one and had surgery - my was shattered, but my extension and flexion was around 3 and 125 degrees respectively.

This is not a easy fracture to recover from, if you don't need surgery, I thinkk you need a better rehab program.

I am 4 1/2 months post surgery after my get off, same injury, plate and 6 screws. at 6 weeks I was at 0 degrees extension and 130 flexion, fulll weight bearing at 12 weeks. Now, going up stairs pain free and squatting with free weights etc.. sounds like you are behind the curve.

I was wondering how they know there is no soft tissue damage with no MRI... I am no Dr. but I think CT scan and Xrays only show bone defects... post the xrays and ask Dr. Mark to ck. out. He is great!

If that break heals in an anatomically incorrect position your knee could give you trouble permanently.

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