A tibial spine fracture is a variation of an ACL tear. The tibial spine is the bony attachment of the ACL inside the knee to the top of the shin bone. Typically, a young athlete, such as one 14 years old or younger, suffers a tibial spine fracture rather than a high school athlete or adult.
Treatment of a tibial spine fracture
The treatment of a tibial spine fracture depends on the nature of the injury. If x-rays or an MRI show that the piece of bone that has broken off is non-displaced, meaning that even though it’s fractured, it sits in the correct place, surgery might not be necessary. The surgeon might place the young athlete in a brace or even a cast to help the tibial spine heal.
Sometimes, though, surgery is necessary, especially if the bone fragment is displaced more than a few millimeters. Surgery can be performed arthroscopically by reattaching the fragment with sutures and/or anchors. While the recovery is not as long as for an ACL reconstruction, the athlete might still be out of sports for months.