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Article
April 1952

CONSERVATIVE TREATMENT OF FRACTURES OF THE TIBIAL PLATEAU

Author Affiliations

ANN ARBOR, MICH.

AMA Arch Surg. 1952;64(4):506-515. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1952.01260010522010
Abstract

COMPLETE restoration of function has always been the ultimate goal in the treatment of fractures and joint injuries. The conservative treatment of fractures of the lateral tibial plateau has in our experience produced an excellent functional result.

Mikkelsen1 has classified 18 types of fracture involving the proximal articular surface of the tibia. However, three types of fractures generally occur in the lateral plateau, as follows: (1) a large single fragment involving the articular cartilage that is depressed and laterally displaced; (2) severe compression with downward displacement of the articular surface of the tibia into the body of the tibia, and (3) lateral displacement of the main fragment with central depression.

In 1929 Cotton2 described fractures of the lateral tibial plateau as "bumper" or "fender" fractures since these were the commonest mechanisms of injury. He believed that treatment should consist in manipulation and support rather than in surgery. Since

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