What are the types of tibia and fibula fracture?

Updated: Nov 30, 2017
  • Author: Jeffrey G Norvell, MD, MBA, RDMS; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Tibial plateau fractures occur from axial loading with valgus or varus forces, such as in a fall from a height or collision with the bumper of a car. The lateral tibial plateau is fractured more frequently than the medial plateau.

Tibial tubercle fractures usually occur during jumping activities such as basketball, diving, football, and gymnastics. This type of fracture is more common in adolescents than in adults.

Tibial eminence fractures occur with trauma to the distal femur while the knee is flexed such as falling off of a bicycle. Another mechanism for this fracture is hyperextension. Tibial eminence avulsion fractures occur most often in children aged 8-14 years but can occur in a skeletally mature patient.

Tibial shaft fractures usually present with a history of major trauma. An exception to this is a toddler's fracture, which is a spiral fracture that occurs with minor trauma in children who are learning to walk.

Tibial plafond fractures refer to fractures involving the weightbearing surface of the distal tibia. This type of injury usually results from high-energy axial loading but may result from lower-energy rotation forces.

Maisonneuve fractures are rare and considered unstable ankle injuries. This type of injury usually involves a pronation-external rotation force.

Stress fractures of the tibia and fibula may occur as a result of repetitive submaximal stresses that may occur while participating in athletics. The history may reveal some change in training routine.

Patients with osteoporosis may have a seemingly innocent mechanism of injury and still sustain fracture. [16]


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