What is the prevalence of foot fractures?

Updated: Sep 23, 2018
  • Author: Robert Silbergleit, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

In contrast to adults, children have relatively stronger ligaments than bone or cartilage. As a result, fractures are more common than sprains in children. However, a child's forefoot is flexible and resilient to injury. When metatarsal or phalangeal fractures do occur, they may be difficult to recognize because of multiple growth centers. In such cases, comparison views of the uninjured foot often are helpful. Persistent foot pain in children should raise the physician's concern for potentially important fractures, even in the absence of plain radiographic signs. [14]

In pediatric patients, foot tractures account for approximately 5-13% of all fractures. Toe fractures in children represent the most common foot fractures in the pediatric age group, accounting for as many as 18% of foot fractures. Phalangeal fractures represent 3-7% of all physeal fractures and are usually Salter-Harris type I or type II injuries.  Pediatric phalanx fractures are more common in boys than girls and are most commonly closed injuries. [15]


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