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Ankle fractures in children

Kathy Boutis, MD, FRCPC, FAAP, MSc
Section Editor
Richard G Bachur, MD
Deputy Editor
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH


This topic will discuss the diagnosis and management of ankle fractures in children. The evaluation and causes of ankle pain in the active child or skeletally immature adolescent and the diagnosis and management of ankle sprains are discussed separately:

(See "Foot and ankle pain in the active child or skeletally immature adolescent: Evaluation" and "Ankle pain in the active child or skeletally immature adolescent: Overview of causes".)

(See "Ankle sprain".)


Ankle fractures are among the most common acute injuries of the lower extremity in children. They also account for up to 40 percent of all fractures in the skeletally immature athlete [1]. Ankle fractures occur more often in boys than girls. Many fractures arise from activities such as basketball, soccer, inline skating, and riding motorized scooters [1,2].

Distal fibular physeal fractures are the most common types of pediatric ankle fracture and are associated with a relatively low risk for long-term complications [3]. By contrast, distal tibial physeal fractures are associated with a higher risk for long-term complications [1].

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Oct 09, 2017.
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