Avulsion fractures of the tibial tubercle

A Abalo, K G Akakpo-numado, A Dossim, A Walla, K Gnassingbe, A H Tekou
Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery 2008, 16 (3): 308-11

PURPOSE: To retrospectively study the epidemiology and treatment of acute avulsion fractures of the tibial tubercle in 12 patients.

METHODS: Records of 12 patients aged 11 to 17 (mean, 14) years with avulsion fractures of the tibial tubercle presenting to our hospital from April 1998 to September 2004 were studied. Patient age, gender, involved side, injury mechanism, clinical and radiographic records, treatment, complications, and outcomes were reviewed.

RESULTS: Eight patients injured the right side, 3 the left side, and one both sides. They all engaged in sports or active play during the injury. Two fractures were type IA, one type IB, 2 type IIB, 5 type IIIA, 2 type IIIB, and one type IV. Three patients with type-I fractures and one with a type-IIB fracture were treated with closed reduction and cast immobilisation for 3 to 4 (mean, 3.8) weeks. The remaining 9 fractures were treated with open reduction and internal fixation. The mean follow-up period was 39 (range, 23-59) months. No complications were noted. Ten patients had excellent results and 2 had fair results.

CONCLUSION: Closed reduction and cast immobilisation for minimally displaced fractures, and open reduction and internal fixation for displaced fractures resulted in favourable outcomes.

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