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J Pediatr Orthop. 2002 Jan-Feb;22(1):36-40.

Partial sleeve fractures of the tibia in children: an unusual fracture pattern.

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Department of Surgery, Division of Orthopaedics, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 401 Smyth Road, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1H 8L1.


Sleeve avulsion fractures of the patella are a well-recognized fracture pattern in children. Less appreciated is a similar fracture pattern involving the anterior metaphyseal area of the tibia. These metaphyseal sleeve fractures represent a fracture pattern characterized by the avulsion of a large area of periosteal attachment of the patellar tendon associated with small subchondral fragments of bone, encountered in skeletally immature children secondary to contraction of the quadriceps associated with forced knee flexion. Although an avulsion fracture of the tibial tubercle is the usual result of this type of trauma, partial sleeve avulsion fractures of the tibial apophysis and adjacent metaphysis occasionally occur and have not been adequately described. It was the authors' purpose to describe their experience with this fracture pattern. Since 1998, three boys have presented to a major pediatric trauma center with a partial sleeve fracture of the tibia. The average age was 13 years 6 months (range 10 years 3 months to 15 years 3 months). Follow-up ranged from 1 year 5 months to 2 years 3 months, with an average of 1 year 9 months. All three boys were treated with open reduction and internal fixation with small cancellous screws and postoperative plaster immobilization. At the time of most recent follow-up, each child showed full range of knee motion and had returned to all sports activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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