Treatment of an avulsion fracture typically includes resting and icing the affected area, followed by controlled exercises that help restore range of motion, improve muscle strength and promote bone healing. Most avulsion fractures heal very well without surgical intervention.
An avulsion fracture occurs when a small chunk of bone attached to a tendon or ligament gets pulled away from the main part of the bone.
The hip, elbow and ankle are the most common locations for avulsion fractures in the young athlete. You may need to spend a few weeks on crutches if you have an avulsion fracture around your hip. An avulsion fracture to your foot or ankle may require a cast or walking boot.
In rare cases, if the bone fragment and main bone are too far apart to fuse naturally, surgery may be necessary to reunite them. In children, avulsion fractures that involve the growth plates also might require surgery.
July 01, 2017
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- Marx JA, et al., eds. General principles of orthopedic injuries. In: Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 22, 2017.
- Miller MD, et al. Pelvic avulsion fractures. In: Essential Orthopaedics. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2010. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed May 22, 2017.
- Laskowski ER (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. May 24, 2017.