What is it?

Tibial fractures are characterized as either low-energy or high-energy. Low-energy, nondisplaced (aligned) fractures, sometimes called toddler’s fractures, occur from minor falls and twisting injuries. High-energy fractures, such as those caused by serious car accidents or major falls, are more common in older children.

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Signs & symptoms

A tibial fracture usually causes immediate, severe pain. Other symptoms may include:
* Inability to walk or bear weight on the leg
* Deformity or instability of the leg
* Bone "tenting" over the skin at the fracture site or bone protruding through a break in the skin
* Occasional loss of feeling in the foot


Fractures of the tibia are typically diagnosed through physical examination and X-rays of the lower extremities.


Tibial fractures can be treated with standard bone fracture treatment procedures. The treatment depends on the severity of the injury and age of the child. It may include some of the following approaches, used either alone or in combination:
* Closed reduction and immobilization: Setting the bone in place without surgery, and immobilization in a long-leg or a short-leg cast
* Open reduction: Exposing the bone surgically to set it back in place- typically performed on open fractures where the bone has punctured the skin. This procedure is usually accompanied by internal or external fixation.
* Internal fixation: Connecting the broken bones with screws, plates, rods and nails that will remain under the skin.
* External fixation: Using pins, clamps and rods to stabilize the fracture from the outside.
* Percutaneous pinning: Inserting wires across the fracture to hold the pieces in place until they heal. The wires are removed after the fracture has healed.
* Medications: When the fracture has broken the skin, treating with antibiotics to prevent infection and analgesics to control pain. A tetanus shot may also be needed.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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