Ankle fracture (peds)

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  • More fractures and fewer sprains since physis is weaker than surrounding ligaments
  • Usually Salter-Harris I or II

Clinical Features

  • TTP of growth plate, soft tissue swelling
  • Distinguish from lateral ligamentous sprain by presence of point tenderness over physis

Differential Diagnosis

Other Ankle Injuries

Distal Leg Fractures


  • Imaging
    • May only show soft tissue swelling at lateral fibula


  • Salter-Harris I or II
    • Manage with closed reduction if any displacement present, followed by immobilization
  • Salter-Harris III (25%)
    • Require open reduction of any displacement
  • Tillaux Fracture
    • Salter-Harris type III of the anterolateral portion of the distal tibia
      • ATFL avulses off the distal tibia
    • May need oblique view to distinguish from triplane fracture
    • Usually requires surgical reduction
  • Triplane Fracture
    • Medial portion of distal tibia growth plate closes before lateral aspect
    • While normal, this causes 18-month period of vulnerability until lateral aspect closes
    • Planes
      • Plane 1: Lateral side of tibia through growth plate to fused medial aspect of physis
      • Plane 2: Sagittal through epiphysis
      • Plane 3: Coronal through distial tibial metaphysis
    • Imaging
      • Appears as Salter III on AP, Salter II on lateral
    • Management
      • CT to delineate injury
      • Ortho consult; closed reduction sufficient in most cases


  • If nondisplaced immobilize, ortho follow up optional
  • Short-Leg Posterior Splint


See Also