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Am J Emerg Med. 1990 May;8(3):208-11.

The toddler's fracture revisited.

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Department of Pediatrics, Children's Hospital, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


The authors have reviewed our experience with 37 cases of toddler's fracture. This fracture of the distal tibia occurs in 1 to 4 year-old-children. History of trauma is usually trivial and the physical findings and radiological appearance are often subtle. The latter consists of a faint oblique lucent line crossing the distal tibia and terminating medially. It is usually seen on the anteroposterior view, poorly seen on the lateral and well seen on the internal oblique. Initial radiographs may be normal. A similar fracture of the midshaft of the tibia was associated with child abuse. Treatment consists of immobilization for a few weeks to protect the limb and to relieve pain. Diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion and is important because it obviates the need for investigations to rule out more sinister etiologies such as tumor or infection. The finding of a midshaft tibial fracture may indicate child abuse.

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[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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