The Relationship Between Posterior Tibial Slope and Pediatric Tibial Eminence Fractures

Academic Article


  • Background: Tibial eminence fractures are bony avulsions of the anterior cruciate ligament from its insertion on the intercondylar eminence. Numerous anatomic factors have been associated with anterior cruciate ligament injuries, such as posterior tibial slope, but there are few studies evaluating the association with tibial eminence fracture. Purpose: To compare posterior tibial slope of pediatric patients with and without tibial eminence fractures. We hypothesized that a steeper posterior tibial slope would be associated with tibial eminence fracture. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Patients who underwent surgical treatment of tibial eminence fracture were retrospectively identified between January 2000 and July 2021. Adults aged >20 years and those without adequate imaging were excluded. Controls without gross ligamentous or osseous pathology were identified. Descriptive information and Meyers and McKeever classification were recorded. Posterior tibial slope measurements were obtained by 2 independent orthopaedic surgeons twice, with measurements separated by 3 weeks. Chi-square tests and independent-samples t tests were used to compare posterior tibial slope and patient characteristics. Inter- and intrareviewer variability was determined via the intraclass correlation coefficient. Results: A total of 51 patients with tibial eminence fractures and 57 controls were included. By sex, tibial eminence fractures occurred among 34 male and 17 female patients with a mean age of 10.9 years. The posterior tibial slope among those with tibial eminence fractures (9.7°) was not significantly greater than that of controls (8.8°; P =.07). Male patients with a tibial eminence fracture had significantly steeper slopes compared with controls (10.0° vs 8.4°; P =.006); this difference was not observed between female patients and female controls. Patients with a slope ≥1 SD above the mean (12.0°) had 3.8 times greater odds (95% CI, 1.3-11.6; P =.017) of having a tibial eminence fracture. Male patients with a posterior tibial slope >12° had 5.8 times greater odds (95% CI, 1.1-29.1; P =.034) of having a tibial eminence fracture compared with male controls. Conclusion: Male patients undergoing surgical fixation of a tibial eminence fracture had an increased posterior tibial slope as compared with case-controls. Increased posterior tibial slope may be a risk factor for sustaining a tibial eminence fracture, although the clinical significance of this deserves further investigation.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Messner MK; McGee AS; Elphingstone JW; Schartung DF; Frazier MB; Schick S; Brabston EW; Momaya AM
  • Start Page

  • 32
  • End Page

  • 37
  • Volume

  • 51
  • Issue

  • 1