Operative treatment of 109 tibial plateau fractures: five- to 27-year follow-up results

J Orthop Trauma. 2007 Jan;21(1):5-10. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0b013e31802c5b51.


Objective: To analyze the long-term (5-27 years) functional and radiologic results of surgically treated fractures of the tibial plateau.

Design: Retrospective study.

Setting: University hospital.

Patients and methods: Two hundred two consecutive tibial plateau fractures were included in this study. All fractures were classified according to both the AO and the Schatzker classification. There were 112 men and 90 women. The mean age at injury was 46 years (16 to 88). One hundred sixty-three patients had isolated fractures and 39 had multiple fractures. A 1 year follow-up was done in all 202 patients. One hundred nine of these patients also had an additional long-term follow-up visit. Functional results of these 109 patients were graded with the Neer- and HSS-knee scores. Radiologic results were graded with the Ahlbäck score. Statistical analysis was performed by means of the SPSS data analysis program.

Results: An uneventful union was present at the 1 year follow-up in 95% of the patients, along with a mean knee ROM of 130 degrees (range, 10-145 degrees). One hundred nine patients had a long-term follow-up visit after a mean period of 14 years (range, 5-27 years). The mean ROM at this time was 135 degrees (range, 0-145 degrees). Functional results showed a mean Neer score of 88.6 points (range, 56-100 points) and a mean HSS score of 84.8 points (range, 19-100 points). Monocondylar fractures showed statistically significant better functional results compared to bicondylar fractures. In 31% of the patients, secondary osteoarthritis had developed but was well tolerated in most (64% of the patients). Patients with a malalignment of more then 5 degrees developed a moderate to severe grade of osteoarthritis statistically significant more often (27% of the patients) compared to patients with an anatomic knee axis (9.2%; MWU, P = 0.02). Age did not appear to have any influence on the results.

Conclusion: Long-term results after open reduction and internal fixation for tibial plateau fractures are excellent, independent of the patient's age.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Bone Plates
  • Bone Screws
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / instrumentation*
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal / methods*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tibial Fractures / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tibial Fractures / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome