Tillaux Fracture: Cause, Diagnosis, Treatment

Tillaux fracture is a fracture of the growth plate of lower end of the tibia. It is seen exclusively in adolescents between the age of 12 to 14 years.

Before reading further it would first be good to know the relevant ankle anatomy. (skip this it you have already read the page)

It is caused by a force that tends to rotate the foot outwards. This force makes the anterior tibio-fiblar ligament taut. As the force continues to act the taut ligament pulls apart a bone fragment resulting in the fracture.

This fragment is located on the outer un-ossified part of the tibia, which is weaker than the inner ossified part hence fractures more easily

Symptoms are similar to other ankle fractures, except that there may be no obvious deformity.

Diagnosis is by x rays of the ankle joint.

CT scan may be required for a accurate assessment of the separation of the fracture fragments.

tillaux fracture

Treatment includes

  • Undisplaced or hairline fractures are treated by a plaster cast for 6 to 8 weeks
  • Displaced fractures are treated by surgery

During surgery the fracture is exposed through a skin incision, the fragments are the aligned accurately and fixed in that position with 1 or 2 screws.

As the fracture is in part of the tibia bone forming the ankle joint hence it may take more than the normal time to unite. This is because the fracture is exposed to the synovial fluid of the ankle joint.

I hope the information provided was helpful. If you have any query you can ask me at the contact me page.

This page was last updated on 2nd March 2009.

Other causes of ankle pain ...

Ankle Fracture

Ankle Sprain

Pilon Fracture

Ankle Arthritis

Ankle Dislocation

Go back from Tillaux Fracture to Ankle Pain


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