Tibial plateau fractures A new classification scheme

Document Type



Orthopaedic Surgery


Fractures of the tibial plateaus are common injuries. Various classification schemes have been used to describe these injuries. Although each system has its own purpose, the simpler systems do not allow comparison with more complex divisions. The problem is compounded by the variable use of adjectives that describe these fractures. A comprehensive classification of tibial plateau fractures should group fractures that are similar in topography, morphology, and pathogenesis, requiring similar treatment, and having a similar prognosis. Fracture dislocations and standard tibial plateau fractures should be incorporated into a single classification to avoid the use of two complementary classifications. Any such classification should not be difficult to remember or to use. Keeping in mind these requirements, the authors devised a simple yet comprehensive classification. The authors studied 80 cases of tibial plateau fractures from January 1988 to September 1997, and used contemporary classifications of tibial plateau fractures as a database to formulate the new classification. A new fracture, subcondylar bicondylar with coronal split, has been classified for the first time. An alphanumeric system has been developed that has made nomenclature easy to remember and use. An effort has been made to address the profoundly confusing issue of variable adjectives that describe these injuries. A review of the literature shows that fractures in the authors' classification have been grouped according to similar pathomechanics, treatment, and functional results.


Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research