Toddler's fracture: Presumptive diagnosis and treatment

Matthew F. Halsey, Kathleen C. Finzel, Wesley V. Carrion, Susan S. Haralabatos, Martin A. Gruber, Bruce P. Meinhard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The diagnosis of a toddler's fracture is frequently difficult at the initial evaluation because of negative radiographs. We propose the presumptive diagnosis of toddler's fracture, despite negative radiographs, when the history and physical examination are consistent with the diagnosis. This retrospective study was designed to evaluate how frequently the diagnosis is correct and to determine if there were any differentiating characteristics with respect to history, gait, or physical examination. Thirty-nine children were presumptively diagnosed with toddler's fracture. A total of 16 (41%) toddler's fractures was confirmed on follow-up radiographs. Comparing the children who demonstrated a toddler's fracture with those who did not, no particular characteristic was found that could predict the outcome. To avoid delay in the treatment of toddler's fracture, we recommend a long-leg cast on those children with a history of an acute injury, inability to walk or limp, no constitutional signs, and negative radiographs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-156
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Fracture
  • Occult limp
  • Toddler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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