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Avulsion Fracture

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Your bones are connected to each other through ligaments and connected to your muscles through tendons. In an avulsion fracture, the bone is broken when a ligament or tendon pulls off part of the bone.

Avulsion fractures are more common in children due to their growing bodies. The part of the bone where growth takes place, called the growth plate, may be weaker than other areas of bone. When tendons or ligaments connect near the growth plate, they may fracture the bone when a child suffers an injury. Fractures are more likely to occur when a tendon or ligament is suddenly pulled away from the direction the bone is traveling, such as twisting the foot when tripping. 

Treatments

Pain Medicines
Your child’s doctor may prescribe pain medicines to help reduce pain and inflammation after the injury.

Casts
If the bone is not pulled very far away, it will likely heal on its own. Your child may need to wear a cast during healing to protect the bone and keep it in place.

Cold Therapy
Your child can use cold packs on the injury to help reduce pain and swelling.

Rest
Your child will need to give their body plenty of time to rest and heal. With proper rest and casting, most avulsion fractures can heal without surgery.

Surgery
If a large fragment of bone is more than few centimeters away from where it should be, your child may need surgery to put it back into place. If the growth plate is injured, your child may also need surgery to ensure the bone heals correctly. Injuries to the growth plate that aren’t treated can prevent bones from growing in the future.

Physical Therapy
While your child heals from the injury or surgery, they will need to complete physical therapy exercises to rebuild strength and range of motion safely. 

Tests

Physical Exam
Your child’s doctor may examine the injured area to look for signs of a fracture like pain or swelling.

X-rays
An X-ray can show if part of the bone has been pulled away.

Why Choose the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute?

Home to a sports medicine certified pediatrician. The University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute is home to a sports medicine certified pediatrician, who completed specialized fellowship training to help athletes under the age of 18. You can rely on our expertise to help your young athlete recover, rebuild strength, and get back in the game.

Multidisciplinary support designed just for young athletes. We focus on caring just for children and teens, helping them avoid injuries and return to sports as quickly as possible. Each member of your child’s care team has years of experience and expertise caring for children and adolescents. From physical therapists and pediatric dietitians, to pediatric radiologists and orthopedic surgeons, you can trust that your child will receive treatment designed for their growing body.

Honored to be on your team. Even though we may treat some of your child’s sports heroes, our experts at the University of Miami Sports Medicine Institute are proud to offer all of our patients the same level of expertise at one of the nation's leading sports medicine programs. We combine top-notch care with research, clinical trials, and innovative treatments for your young athlete, at any skill level.

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