Tibial plateau fracture with lipohemarthrosis

Case contributed by Dr Victoria Ho


Right knee pain after football game: jumped and landed on to knee. On examination, pain over medial side of knee with pain when bearing weight. No significant past medical history.

Patient Data

Age: 25-30 years old
Gender: Male

Tibial plateau fracture with lipohemarthrosis. 

In addition to the cortical irregularity in the medial tibial plateau (the fracture), there is a large joint effusion, best seen on the lateral view. The joint effusion contains a straight line, representing a fluid-fat level, with the lighter fat from the bone marrow ("lipo") floating above the heavier blood ("heme"). The straight line also reveals that the patient's leg is actually lying on a table and the film was rotated to present the knee in an upright position (the blood is layering dependently).

Case Discussion

Type 4 tibial plateau fracture. 

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Case information

rID: 44857
Published: 6th May 2016
Last edited: 7th May 2016
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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