Pediatric foot (lateral view)

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 23 Mar 2023

The lateral foot view for pediatrics is one of three views in order to examine the phalanges, metatarsals and tarsal bones of the foot. 

This projection demonstrates the foot joint orthogonal to the natural anatomical position. It is useful in diagnosing fractures, soft tissue effusions, joint space abnormalities and localizing foreign bodies in pediatric patients.

  • the affected leg is externally rotated until the lateral aspect of the foot is resting on the image receptor

  • affected foot is slightly dorsiflexed

  • lateral projection

  • centering point

    • base of metatarsals or midfoot

  • collimation

  • orientation  

    • portrait

  • detector size

    • 18 cm x 24 cm

  • exposure 1

    • 50-55 kVp

    • 1-2 mAs

  • SID

    • 100 cm

  • grid

    • no

The domes of the talus are superimposed with the tibiotalar joint open. Superimposition of metatarsals is demonstrated with the fifth metatarsal tuberosity in profile 2.

Preparing the room beforehand (setting up the detector, exposure and preparing lead gowns) is important as pediatric patients may not remain still when their affected foot is moved onto the detector. 

It is important for the radiograph to be free from motion artifact and rotation to avoid repeated x-rays.

  • it may be necessary for the parent or radiographer to hold the patient in position

  • ideally the parent should be in the child's direct line of sight

  • techniques will vary based on the department

  • distraction techniques can be utilized to avoid scattered radiation to parents and staff 3

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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