Management of pediatric tibial tubercle fractures: Is surgical treatment really necessary?

P Checa Betegón, C Arvinius, M I Cabadas González, A Martínez García, R Del Pozo Martín, F Marco Martínez
European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology: Orthopédie Traumatologie 2019, 29 (5): 1073-1079
Fractures of the anterior tibial tubercle are infrequent lesions. They often occur in male adolescent athletes, usually in relation with sports involving powerful jumps. We present a retrospective study of 10 patients, with an average age of 15.1 years, all of them males, and a total of 11 acute avulsions of the anterior tibial tubercle. We analyzed the etiology of the lesion, the type of treatment used as well as non-weight bearing period, protected immobilization period, and time until sports reincorporation. We obtained 11 acute avulsions: one case of type I; three cases of type II; four cases of type III; and three cases of type IV. Five cases were treated conservatively, including the three cases of type IV, and surgery was only performed in six cases since an anatomical reduction was not obtained with closed reduction. The results were satisfactory in all cases, with 100% percentage of sport reincorporation in less de 25 weeks. We registered only one complication, intolerance of material, which did not require additional surgeries. These fractures, although rare, have an excellent prognosis. Even if they are often treated surgically, we have obtained good results with the conservative treatment in patterns previously reported as surgical.

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