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Toddlers Fracture

January 4, 2024 Staff


Toddler's Fractures in Children

A toddlers fracture is a type of fracture in young children that occurs in the lower tibia, the large lower leg bone. The term is formally described as occurring in children between approximately nine months and three years of age, although some sources use the term for fractures occurring in children as old as six years. X-rays demonstrate a nondisplaced spiral fracture of the distal (lower) tibia involving the diaphysis (shaft) and/or metaphysis, the area where the bone flares above the ankle joint. The fibula, the smaller leg bone on the lateral side, is not broken in a toddler fracture. The mechanism is a twisting injury, usually resulting from a fall in which the foot and ankle are planted and routine externally in relation to the tibial shaft.

Toddlers fractures can be treated in several different ways depending on the characteristics of the child’s fracture and symptoms, provider recommendations, and parent preferences. Specific recommendations may vary and depend on many factors.

One popular treatment for many children with a toddlers fracture is a below-knee walking cast for approximately three weeks from injury. A walking cast allows children to bear weight on the leg as soon as their pain and initiative allow. Typically, the cast is removed after about three weeks and follow up x-rays of the tibia are obtained to evaluate healing. Avoidance of running, jumping, playground, and sports is typically recommended for about six weeks from the initial injury.

This material is presented for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Every patient is different. Providers vary in their preferences and experience. Resources and availability may vary by region. Medical knowledge is constantly being updated with new research which may not be reflected here. We recommend consulting with a board-certified orthopedic surgeon for specific recommendations for your child.

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