Tibial and ankle fractures in children

B.W. Scott and P.A. Templeton

in Oxford Textbook of Trauma and Orthopaedics

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199550647
Published online April 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199608249 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Tibial and ankle fractures  in children

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After forearm and digital injuries, tibial and ankle fractures are the commonest fractures in the immature skeleton and the majority of these involve the diaphysis or ankle

Compared to the morbidity seen in adults these are relatively forgiving injuries in children as the healing rate of bone and soft tissues is rapid and remodelling will occur

It is wise, however, to guard against overconfidence in the remodelling potential of certain injuries; for example, angulated mid-diaphyseal fractures, rotational malalignment, and metaphyseal fractures within 2 years of skeletal maturity

Children will tolerate manipulative/cast treatment better than adults as the duration of treatment is usually shorter and rapid rehabilitation is almost the norm with or without physiotherapy

Postfracture overgrowth does occur but is less than that following femoral fractures and seldom clinically significant (over 10mm)

Isolated fibular fractures are of minor importance but need to be taken into account in managing complex injuries involving the distal tibia

It is convenient to discuss injuries according to three anatomical sections: proximal, diaphyseal, and distal.

Chapter.  3828 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery ; Paediatrics

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