Pediatric Foot Fractures: Diagnosis and Treatment

Fracture of the phalanx, or toe, is one of the most common foot fractures in children.

Diagnosis and Treatment - Pediatric Foot Fractures

Young soccer team Due to their still-growing bodies, pediatric foot fracture treatment is different than treating similar injuries in adults. Fractures are less common because children’s growing feet have more cartilage and greater elasticity. However, increased activity has led to increased incidence of foot fractures.

Treatment depends on the type of fracture.

A displaced fracture is when the bone breaks into two or more parts. In addition, the two bone ends move, becoming misaligned. When the bone breaks into several pieces, this is known as a comminuted fracture.

A non-displaced fracture occurs when the bone breaks partway or if the bone breaks completely but the two ends remain aligned.

If the bone breaks through the skin, it is known as an open fracture. A closed fracture is when the bone does not pierce the skin.

Treating Pediatric Toe Fractures

The most common type of foot fracture in children is of the phalanx, or toe bone. These fractures usually occur because the child dropped something on their toe. Other common causes of pediatric toe fracture include stubbing the toe and sports injuries.

PFA with boy standing on his toesMost of these are closed fractures. High energy trauma, such as accidents with a lawnmower or riding an ATV, often result in open fractures.

Treating a closed fracture rarely requires surgical intervention. Common treatment involves “buddy” taping the fractured toe to its healthy neighbor. The child may be given a walking cast or hard-soled shoe to manage discomfort.

Open foot fracture treatment depends on the child’s unique injury, age, and much more.

Diagnosing Pediatric Foot Fractures

Due to their unique physiology, diagnosing pediatric foot injuries can be a challenge. Even if you don’t bring your child to Pediatric Foot & Ankle, we highly recommend you use a pediatric podiatrist. Our blog offers 7 Tips for Choosing a Pediatric Podiatrist. These specialists have the experience and training necessary to accurately diagnose and treat a child’s unique foot issues.

No amount of foot pain is normal. If you suspect your child has a foot fracture or injury, call (480) 534-7220 to schedule an appointment today.

Children's Feet Treatment Dr. Mikkel Jarman

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