Anterolateral approach for posterolateral tibial plateau fractures


Knee, tibial plateau fractures, posterolateral fracture, anterolateral approach

Published online: Aug 12 2023

Jianwen LI, Khan Akhtar ALI, Chengyan XIA, Meipeng ZHU, Weikai ZHANG, Hui HUANG

Department of Orthopedics, Tongji Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China


The posterolateral tibial plateau fracture is an uncommon intra-articular injury and mostly needed surgery. However, its surgical approach remains controversial. This manuscript describes an anterolateral approach to treat posterolateral tibial plateau fractures and evaluates the patient’s functional outcomes. From June 2018 to July 2021 seventeen patients with posterolateral tibial plateau fractures were surgically treated through an anterolateral approach. The intraoperative and postoperative follow-up indicators were recorded. The reduction quality of fractures was assessed using Rasmussen radiological score, and postsurgical functional recovery was estimated using Rasmussen clinical score and Lysholm score. The mean follow-up interval was 28.71 ± 9.61 months (range 18-44). The surgery time and blood loss were 111.06 ± 15.62 min (range 85-140) and 118.12 ± 38.45 mL (range 80-250) separately. Postoperatively, the Rasmussen radiological score was 16.24 ± 2.33 (range 12-18). The average time of bone union was 14.29 ± 1.53 weeks (range 12-18). At the final follow-up, the average PTS and MPTA were 9.71 ± 2.76° (range 5-14°) and 86.82 ± 2.04° (range 84-90°) separately. A satisfactory articular reduction was achieved in 16 patients (94.1%). The final ROM was 123.29 ± 19.70° (range 60-142°). The Rasmussen clinical score and Lysholm score were 25.71 ± 5.74 (range 10-30) and 91.47 ± 6.50 (range 75-98) separately. Anterolateral approach has minimal risk of intraoperative neurovascular injuries in the popliteal fossa with satisfactory results. The hardware removal was also facilitated. This approach is feasible, safe and efficient.