Comminuted Simultaneous Bilateral Tibial Tubercle Avulsion Fractures: A Case Report
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A 16-year-old male had simultaneous bilateral tibial tubercle avulsion fractures after making a sudden stop while running at full speed. The left knee injury (type V) was minimally displaced, was treated conservatively with closed reduction, and the patient recovered uneventfully. The right tibial tubercle injury was unusual. The tuberosity and anterior aspect of the proximal epiphysis remained as one, but there was severe intra-articular comminution posterior to the displaced tubercle fragment. The right knee injury (type III) required open reduction and internal fixation to reduce the apophyseal fragment and 2 intra-articular displaced fragments. The patient's recovery was complicated by a severe, persistent flexion deformity on the right side. Eventually, the patient required manipulation under anaesthesia, extensive continuous passive mobilisation and a turnbuckle extension splint. A residual 5-degree flexion deformity remained at 16 months post-injury. This case highlights the importance of identifying any intra-articular fragments, their careful anatomical reduction, and aggressive mobilisation when treating tibial tubercle avulsion fractures.
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