Idiopathic osteonecrosis of the medial tibial plateau
Valentí J.R., Illescas J.A., Barriga A., Dölz R.
Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology, University Clinic, School of Medicine, University of Navarra, Pío XII, 36, 31008, Pamplona, Spain
Osteonecrosis of the medial tibial plateau is characterized by acute pain on the medial aspect of the knee. Progression can lead to articular collapse and requires early diagnosis and treatment. We studied seven patients affected of idiopathic osteonecrosis of the tibial plateau.
The mean age was 62 years and the mean follow-up 42 months. We performed roentgenograms in all patients, bone scans in three patients and magnetic resonance image (MRI) in five. MRI shows T1-weighted low-intensity signal and T2-weighted high-intensity signal with a surrounding area of intermediate low-intensity signal. An increased focal uptake was seen at bone scan. Histological findings showed necrotic bone with empty lacunae. Surgical treatment consisted of tibial subchondral drilling in four patients-two of them by failure of conservative treatment, and a total knee arthroplasty in other two. One patient had a satisfactory evolution with conservative treatment.
Idiopathic osteonecrosis of the tibial plateau must be considered in elderly patients with knee pain over the medial tibial plateau. At early stages, decompression with tibial drilling must be considered. This procedure allows a prompt and effective relief of symptoms.
CITATION Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2005 May;13(4):293-8