A tibial plateau fracture is a complicated injury that hurts the shin bone where it becomes the knee joint. The injury is painful like any other fracture, but it also damages the stability and structure of the knee. This is a severe injury that you find happens a lot to athletes that play contact sports. The injury pretty much eliminates all weight bearing on that leg for the fracture to heal.
Anatomy of Tibial Plateau Fracture
The tibial plateau is the very top of the tibia bone of the lower leg where the bone starts to get broad to meet with the femur and create the knee joint. Usually, these fractures are medially or laterally, because the middle is protected by the kneecap. For a tibial plateau fracture to occur, it requires the bone to be hit by a strong force.
Causes of Tibial Plateau Fracture
The tibial plateau will fracture as a result of high impact blows to the tibia or knee. They also can be caused when an enormous amount of force is placed on the knee joint.
- Falls from high places
- Backing leg into a hard object
- Being hit with a hard object
- Poor nutrition
The Worst Parts of a Tibial Plateau Fracture
Not only do you have to deal with this injury, you have to also deal with the fact that it can lead to torn ligaments. When the fracture occurs, it can disrupt the ACL, MCL or the LCL. Not only will you have to heal this fracture but you will also need surgery to repair your knee. Knee ligament injuries are already extensive rehabs. When it comes to athletic injuries, this would be a nightmare situation.
Another danger of a tibial plateau fracture is having to manage the swelling after the injury. If it swells too much, it can compress nerves and blood inside of the knee joint (compartment syndrome). Complaints of any tingling sensations should be taken seriously.
Treatment of Tibial Plateau Fracture
After the fracture occurs it is important that you see a doctor right away. The injury is not one that will heal on its own. You are going to need medical assistance to make sure that you are healing properly. You may need surgery to repair the bone structure, as well as repairing any knee ligaments that may have been damaged. A doctor will most likely send you to get an X-Ray and MRI right away to see what the extent of damage is.
Regardless of having surgery or not, the rest is going to be a huge part of getting over this injury, and there is no getting around that. The bone cannot take any stress on it. That means you will need a wheelchair or crutches to get around. You should avoid weight bearing at all costs.
Rehab for Tibial Plateau Fracture
You will need to go through an extensive rehab when you are recovering from this fracture. The reason is that the time off will lead to a lot of muscle atrophy. Since you have not been using the quads and hamstrings, the muscles will be much weaker. If your bone is healed, you do not want to get back to your normal activities with these weaker muscles because they will not absorb forces as well.
Recovery can take several months and the best thing you can do during this time is stick to the plan. Do not rush forward because you are feeling good because it may create a setback. The other thing you want to do. Another focus you should have is improving your diet. The best way to go about doing this is to work with a registered dietitian. They will be able to figure out what your goals are, current body composition and then create a plan to help with healing and injury prevention.
Preventing Future Injuries
There is no way that you can avoid falls or hits to your body. There are things you can do though to make the structure and the area much stronger.
- Box Jumps
- Dorsiflexion resistance
- VMO strengthening
Finding The Best Local Sports Medicine Providers for a Tibial Plateau Fracture
Kho Health is the best place to start your search for a health care provider to help you stay healthy. The key to success as an athlete is staying healthy and making sure the injuries are dealt with appropriately. Any athlete in a contact sport is at more risk of having a tibial plateau fracture and the key to success as an athlete is staying healthy.
Kho Health lets you search for providers by type and skill. For example, you can look for a Physical Therapist with the capability of the Graston Technique. It does not matter what kind of provider you need, Kho Health can help you find them and help you to sort through their skills.
If you are unsure where to start your journey, Kho Health will ask you questions and help you figure out the best starting place. All you have to do is answer a few questions. From there, Kho Health will connect you with the type of provider best suited for your needs. It does not matter if you are injured or making sure you don’t run into tibial plateau fracture problems.
The platform makes it easy to compare health providers as they are all given a Kho Number. How do you decide which healthcare providers are the best? Reading bios and reviews is just not enough because you need more than that.
Skill Sets to Look for In Sports Medicine Providers
Skill sets are the things healthcare providers learn after they graduate. A healthcare provider can take courses and get certifications for different skill sets. These skill sets are valuable and help them approach injuries from different perspectives so that you can get the best help at the right time for any tibial plateau fracture issues that arise.
- Dry needling
- Joint Manipulation
- Active Release Technique
- Graston Technique
- Functional Movement Screen
- Fascial Stretching
- Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Athletic Trainer
- Sports Background
- And many more