Tibial Plateau Fracture, Undisplaced, Adult

ExitCare ImageYou have a fracture (break in bone) of your tibial plateau. This is a fracture in the upper part of the large "shin" bone (tibia) in your lower leg. The plateau is the top of the bone that butts up against the femur (thigh bone of your upper leg). This is what makes up your knee joint. Because this fracture goes into the knee joint, it is necessary that this fracture be fixed in the best position possible. Otherwise over the years this fracture can cause severe arthritis and marked disability. This may still occur even with the best and ideal treatment. These fractures are easily diagnosed with x-rays.


You have a fracture that may heal without disability and can be treated with immobilization. This means the bone can be held with a cast or splint in a favorable position until your caregiver feels it is stable enough (healed well enough) that you can begin range of motion exercises. These will help keep your knee limber (moving well).


  • Apply ice to the injury for 15-20 minutes, 03-04 times per day while awake, for 2 days. Put the ice in a plastic bag and place a thin towel between the bag of ice and your cast.

  • If you have a plaster or fiberglass cast :

  • Do not try to scratch the skin under the cast using sharp or pointed objects.

  • Check the skin around the cast every day. You may put lotion on any red or sore areas.

  • Keep your cast dry and clean.

  • If you have a plaster splint :

  • Wear the splint as directed.

  • You may loosen the elastic around the splint if your toes become numb, tingle, or turn cold or blue.

  • Do not put pressure on any part of your cast or splint until it is fully hardened.

  • Your cast or splint can be protected during bathing with a plastic bag. Do not lower the cast or splint into water.

  • Use crutches as directed.

  • Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines for pain, discomfort, or fever as directed by your caregiver.

  • See your caregiver as directed. It is very important to keep all follow-up referrals and appointments in order to avoid any long-term problems with your knee including chronic pain, inability to move the ankle normally, and permanent disability.


  • Pain is becoming worse rather than better, or if pain is uncontrolled with medications.

  • You have increased swelling or redness in the foot.

  • You begin to lose feeling in your foot or toes.

  • You develop a cold or blue foot or toes on the injured side.

  • You develop severe pain in your injured leg.