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Acute fractures of the pediatric foot and ankle

Abstract

Background

Injuries around the foot and ankle are challenging. There is a paucity of literature, outside that of specialist orthopedic journals, that focuses on this subject in the pediatric population.

Data sources

In this review, we outline pediatric foot and ankle fractures in an anatomically oriented manner from the current literature. Our aim is to aid the emergency department doctor to manage these challenging injuries more effectively in the acute setting.

Results

These injuries require a detailed history and examination to aid the diagnosis. Often, plain radiographs are sufficient, but more complex injuries require the use of magnetic resonance imaging. Treatment is dependent on the proximity to skeletal maturity and the degree of displacement of fracture. Children have a marked ability to remodel after fractures and therefore mainstay treatment is immobilization by a cast or splint. Operative fixation, although uncommon in this population, may be necessary with adolescents, certain unstable injuries or in cases with displaced articular surface. In the setting of severe foot trauma, skin compromise and compartment syndrome of the foot must be excluded.

Conclusion

The integrity of the physis, articular surface and soft tissues are all equally important in treating these injuries.

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Correspondence to Mansur Halai.

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Halai, M., Jamal, B., Rea, P. et al. Acute fractures of the pediatric foot and ankle. World J Pediatr 11, 14–20 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12519-015-0002-x

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Key words

  • ankle
  • foot
  • fractures