Tibial plateau

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 8 Dec 2021

The tibial plateau (plural: plateaus or plateaux are equally acceptable 4) is the proximal articular surface of the tibia.

Strictly the plateau refers to the whole articular surface of the proximal tibia. Therefore, saying "medial tibial plateau" or "lateral tibial plateau", or, even worse, collectively referring to them as the tibial plateaus/plateaux, is anatomically-incorrect.

The tibial plateau is composed of two parts:

  • concave articular surfaces of the oval-shaped medial and circular-shaped lateral tibial condyles (medial and lateral tibial plateaus)
    • the medial tibial condyle is larger, stronger and transmits more weight than the lateral tibial condyle
  • central non-articular intercondylar area
    • site of attachment of menisci and cruciate ligaments

Via the medial and lateral menisci the tibial plateau articulates with the medial and femoral condyles to form the tibiofemoral part of the knee joint

  • the tibial plateau slopes posteroinferiorly 10-15 degrees; thus anterior tibial plateau fractures may be occult on AP projections

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: proximal tibia (Gray's illustration)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 1: tibial plateau fracture
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