Type III fractures of the tibial tubercle in adolescents

D A Wiss, J L Schilz, L Zionts
Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 1991, 5 (4): 475-9
Fifteen patients with Type III avulsion fractures of the tibial tubercle treated surgically were reviewed at an average of 9.6 years after injury. Six patients had a history of Osgood-Schlatter disease, and two patients had Type I osteogenesis imperfecta. Associated injuries to the meniscus were found and repaired in three patients. Two of these patients had also avulsed the origin of the tibialis anterior muscle, leading to a compartment syndrome in one. All but one fracture healed. There was one refracture. Five patients developed bursitis over prominent screw heads, which required screw removal. All but two patients were asymptomatic and participated in sports. A full range of knee motion without instability was present in all patients. Thigh and calf circumferences were equal to the opposite side. Radiographs showed normal knee joints in all but one asymptomatic patient, who showed signs of an early arthrosis. No patient developed angular or recurvatum deformities. However, a leg-length discrepancy of 1.0-1.8 cm was noted in four patients (two overgrowth, two undergrowth).

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