Anterior rim tibial plateau fractures and posterolateral corner knee injury

Emerg Radiol. 2003 Oct;10(2):76-83. doi: 10.1007/s10140-003-0298-z. Epub 2003 Aug 26.


The aim of this study was to review MRI findings of clinically suspected posterolateral corner knee injuries and their associated internal derangements. Sixteen knees in 15 patients who had evidence of a posterolateral corner knee injury on the physical exam underwent MRI to evaluate the posterolateral corner of the knee and to look for associated injuries. Two musculoskeletal radiologists reviewed the scans. Surgery was performed on 10 of the knees. Tibial plateau fractures were present in 6 knees; 5 of the fractures were anteromedial rim tibial plateau fractures. The popliteus muscle was injured in 13 knees and the biceps femoris in 6 knees. The lateral collateral ligament was ruptured in 12 knees. The posterior cruciate ligament was completely ruptured in 7 knees and avulsed from its tibial attachment in 1 knee. Eleven knees had a complete anterior cruciate ligament rupture. The anterior cruciate ligament was edematous without complete disruption of all fibers in 3 knees. There was excellent correlation between the MRI results and operative results in regard to the presence of a posterolateral corner injury of the knee (9 of the 10 knees had a posterolateral corner injury). In our study MRI readily detected posterolateral corner injuries. Posterolateral corner injuries of the knee are frequently associated with a variety of significant injuries, including cruciate ligament tears, meniscus tears, and fractures. Fractures of the peripheral anteromedial tibial plateau are not common; however, given their relatively common occurrence in this study, they may be an indicator of a posterolateral corner injury to the knee.