Proximal tibial fracture

Case contributed by Dr Jeremy Jones


Injury after jumping off a bed. Failing to weight-bear.

Patient Data

Age: 3 years
Gender: Male

There is a transverse/oblique fracture through the proximal tibial metaphysis.  It is a complete fracture with buckling of the anterior cortex.

Annotated image

Zoomed up images of the proximal tibial fracture with annotations of the fracture lines (dotted blue) and angulation of the anterior cortex. 

Case Discussion

Complete fractures (cf. incomplete fractures) of the tibia tend to be distal fractures, and in young children are usually oblique, e.g. Toddler fracture. A proximal injury is less common.

This is an oblique fracture, rather than a spiral fracture (where there is rotation of the distal fracture fragment along the axis of the bone).  Spiral fractures are more common in older children and adults.

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Case information

rID: 23648
Published: 30th Jun 2013
Last edited: 14th Jun 2016
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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