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Metatarsal and toe fractures in children

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


The management of metatarsal and toe fractures in children will be reviewed here. Other foot fractures in children and toe fractures in adults are discussed separately. (See "Foot fractures (other than metatarsal or phalangeal) in children" and "Toe fractures in adults".)


Metatarsal fractures account for the majority of pediatric foot fractures. In children ≤5 years of age, the first metatarsal is most commonly injured [1,2]. In older children, fracture of the base of the fifth metatarsal is more frequent [1]. Approximately one-third of metatarsal fractures involve the shaft or distal portion of the metatarsal [3].

Toe fractures also occur commonly in children. The first phalanx (great toe) is most frequently involved. Distal phalangeal fractures may be complicated by nail bed injuries.


From an anatomic perspective, the foot is divided into three regions (figure 1A-C):

Forefoot – Metatarsal and phalangeal bones

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 23, 2016.
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