Pediatric Ankle Fractures: Evaluation and Treatment

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Pediatric ankle fractures account for approximately 5% of pediatric fractures and 15% of physeal injuries. The biomechanical differences between mature and immature bones, as well as the differing forces applied to those bones, help explain the differences between adult and pediatric fractures. The potential complications associated with pediatric ankle fractures include those seen with adult fractures (such as posttraumatic arthritis, stiffness, and reflex sympathetic dystrophy) as well as those that result from physeal damage (including leglength discrepancy, angular deformity, or a combination thereof). The goals of treatment are to achieve and maintain a satisfactory reduction and to avoid physeal arrest. A knowledge of common pediatric ankle fracture patterns and the pitfalls associated with their evaluation and treatment will aid the clinician in the effective management of these injuries.

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