Isolated Lateral Plating for Bicondylar Tibial Plateau Fractures: Factors Influencing Decision Making


Lateral plating alone has been postulated as an alternative for fixation of bicondylar tibial plateau fractures in attempts to limit morbidity associated with dual plating. Characterization of fracture patterns that may facilitate lateral plating alone for bicondylar tibial plateau fractures is not well established. The authors analyzed radiographic and clinical outcomes of isolated lateral plating in patients with at least 6 months of follow-up. Of 56 patients identified, 37 (66%) had 41 AO Foundation (AO)/ Orthopaedic Trauma Association (OTA) C1/C2 fractures with 19 (34%) presenting with 41 C3 fractures. Mean posteromedial articular fracture angle (PMAFA) was 69.9 degrees, with an average of 1.3 medial articular fragments. Only 16 patients (28%) had a PMAFA under 45 degrees. There were no cases of nonunion, and five patients (8.9%) developed wound infection during follow-up. Four patients (7.1%) experienced malreduction over three degrees, and eight patients (14.3%) experienced change in alignment over the follow-up duration, indicating some risk of inadequate fixation with this technique. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 33(2):088-092, 2024)

Key words: bicondylar tibial plateau, isolated lateral plating, postoperative outcomes, decision making, case series

Mandip Singh, MD; Mikel Headford, DO; Krishna Vangipuram Suresh, MD; and Thomas Revak, DO