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Weight-bearing-induced displacement and migration over time of fracture fragments following split depression fractures of the lateral tibial plateau


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We investigated the stability of seven Schatzker type II fractures of the lateral tibial plateau treated by subchondral screws and a buttress plate followed by immediate partial weight-bearing. In order to assess the stability of the fracture, weight-bearing inducible displacements of the fracture fragments and their migration over a one-year period were measured by differentially loaded radiostereometric analysis and standard radiostereometric analysis, respectively. The mean inducible craniocaudal fracture fragment displacements measured −0.30 mm (−0.73 to 0.02) at two weeks and 0.00 mm (−0.12 to 0.15) at 52 weeks. All inducible displacements were elastic in nature under all loads at each examination during follow-up. At one year, the mean craniocaudal migration of the fracture fragments was −0.34 mm (−1.64 to 1.51).

Using radiostereometric methods, this case series has shown that in the Schatzker type II fractures investigated, internal fixation with subchondral screws and a buttress plate provided adequate stability to allow immediate post-operative partial weight-bearing, without harmful consequences.

Correspondence should be sent to Professor L. B. Solomon; e-mail: bogdansolomon@mac.com

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