What are the disadvantages of nonoperative treatment for tibial plateau fractures?

Updated: Jul 05, 2018
  • Author: Srinivasa Vidyadhara, MBBS, DNB, MS(Orth), DNB(Orth), FNB(SpineSurg), MNAMS; Chief Editor: Thomas M DeBerardino, MD  more...
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Answer

Disadvantages of nonoperative treatment are as follows:

  • Risk of displacement and need for surgery (follow-up with imaging studies every 2 weeks for 6 weeks; activity restriction for 4-6 months)
  • Prolonged immobilization and related complications - If traction is used, good motion is obtained at the cost of a lengthy hospital stay and the risk of pin-tract infection [13] ; related complications of recumbency can include pulmonary embolism or phlebitis
  • Joint stiffness (if immobilization >2-3 weeks)
  • Instability and posttraumatic arthritis in the long term

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