Anterior tibial stress fractures treated with anterior tension band plating in high-performance athletes

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2013 Jun;21(6):1447-50. doi: 10.1007/s00167-013-2365-7. Epub 2013 Jan 19.


Purpose: The non-surgical treatment of anterior tibial cortex stress fractures requires long periods of abstention from sports activities and often results in non-union. Many different surgical techniques have already been previously described to treat these fractures, but there is no consensus on the best treatment. We describe the outcome of treatment using anterior tibial tension band plating in three high-performance athletes (4 legs) with anterior tibial cortex stress fractures.

Methods: Tibial osteosynthesis with a 3.5-mm locking compression plate in the anterolateral aspect of the tibia was performed in all patients diagnosed with anterior tibial stress fracture after September 2010 at Santa Casa Hospital.

Results: All of the fractures were consolidated within a period of 3 months after surgery, allowing for an early return to pre-injury levels of competitive sports activity. There were no infection, non-union, malunion or anterior knee pain complications.

Conclusions: Anterior tibial tension band plating leads to prompt fracture consolidation and is a good alternative for the treatment of anterior tibial cortex stress fractures. Bone grafts were shown to be unnecessary.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Bone Plates
  • Fractures, Stress / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tibial Fractures / surgery*
  • Young Adult