Outcomes of Displaced Tibial Tubercle Fractures in Adolescents

Ally A Yang, Marcus Erdman, Ellius Kwok, Gary Updegrove, William L Hennrikus
Journal of Knee Surgery 2022 July 7
Tibial tubercle fractures are uncommon injuries. The purpose of this study is to report the outcomes of surgical treatment of displaced tibial tubercle fractures in adolescents. This study was approved by the College of Medicine Institutional Review Board. A retrospective review was performed at our institution for patients who underwent surgical treatment of tibial tubercle fractures. Patient demographics, injury characteristics, and outcomes were recorded. A p -value of <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Nineteen male patients were identified. The average age was 14.6 years, and the average body mass index was 25.8. Basketball (63%) was the most common mechanism of injury. No patient was treated with bicortical screws. Two patients had preoperative computed tomography. One patient presented with acute compartment syndrome (ACS), and fasciotomy was performed. Twelve patients (63%) without clinical signs of ACS received anterior compartment fasciotomy on a case-by-case basis according to surgeon's preference. No growth injury, including growth arrest, angulation, or shortening occurred. All patients returned to preinjury activities at an average of 18.5 weeks. Displaced tibial tubercle fractures in this series occurred in male adolescents during athletic activity. Unicortical screws/pins were used with no loss of fixation. Routine use of advanced imaging was unnecessary. One patient (5%) underwent fasciotomy. No growth arrest occurred. All patients returned to preinjury athletic activities.

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