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MRI showing tibial plateau fracture.Need a brace? Recovery period?

MRI: lateral tibial plateau fracture isolated to subchondral bone; 3mm depression of the articular surface anteriorly. Female, 56, good shape. Question: a.) should I have a brace? I have crutches. I walked on it for 6 days before diagnosis. b) how long do I need to be non-weight bearing? c.) how serious is the non-weight bearing...I live alone and to cheat a little would be a great thing. d.) surgery?...doc said not necessary and to stay non-weight bearing for 6 weeks. Is 3mm depression surgery indicated?
Asked On : Mon, 25 Feb 2013
Answers:  2 Views:  341
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement 's  Response
Jul 2013
Hi, thanks for writing to HCM.

Generally, Surgery is not indicated for a depressed lateral tibial condyle fracture measuring only 3mm. But as you are already of 55 years age and degenerative arthritis might have set in your knees. This 3mm depression may lead to speeding up of the degeneration in the joint further.

As long as you don't bear weight on the leg, crutches are sufficient. Premature weight bearing on the leg may lead to displacement of the fracture, in which case surgical fixation is the only option.

So, I suggest you to be on non-weight bearing for atleast 6-8 weeks and check the progression of fracture union by serial xrays. Afterwards you may start bearing weight subject to your pain tolerance.

Hope this information is helpful. Good day
Answered: Tue, 10 Sep 2013
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Orthopaedic Surgeon, Joint Replacement Dr. Saurabh Gupta's  Response
Feb 2014
Hi, thanks for writing to HCM.

The method of management of tibial plateau fractures depends on the its type (there are 6 types) but there is no mention about its type in description.

Generally, fractures with very minimal displacement can be treated by conservative management with either casts or braces and a non-weight bearing period for a minimum of 8-10 weeks depending upon the fracture pattern.

An exact "type" of the fracture is to be known to define the exact method of management.

Discuss with your treating doctor for any more issues.

Hope this information is helpful.
Answered: Tue, 10 Sep 2013
I find this answer helpful
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