What is a Tillaux Fracture?

Tillaux Fracture with the Left Arrow Marking The Growth Plate and the Right Arrow Marking the Fracture Line


tillaux fracture

is a fracture of the

anteriolateral tibial epiphysis


. To put it in a simpler manner, it is the fracture of the growth plate at the shin bone’s lower end or the tibia. This fracture is very rare in adults is mostly experienced by teenagers between the ages 12-14. Since the epiphysis are avulsed in the fracture, a

tillaux fracture

is also called a

Type III Salter-Harris fracture.

Frequency of the Fracture:

It is mostly 14 year old males and 12 year old females that are known to be the most affected due to this this avulsion fracture. While is is the females known to suffer the most, males are known to experience fractures to the ankle more which only occur in only 4 percent of the cases. In females more damage (11 percent) is done to the epiphyseal (growth plate) area.


Children who are into a lot of sporting activities, especially those into baseball and skating are the most vulnerable to these fractures. A very low traumatic force is often known to be the cause of this fracture which can happen while sliding in a baseball game or in while skateboarding.

Any force that can potentially rotate the foot outwards would result in cracking the growth plate which eventually would tear a bone fragment away.


The common symptoms are-

  • inability to ear weight on the fractured leg
  • severe ankle pain
  • bruising
  • tenderness


Often, these avulsion fractures trouble the teenagers for two years after the fracture is sustained. During this time, the joint would pose stiffness problems along with pain. Eventually, the fracture can lead to degenerative arthritis and deformity like unequal leg lengths.

Diagnosis and Treatment:

Based on the intensity of the fracture, the possible treatment options are a cast or a surgery.

  • If the fracture is a simple hairline, putting the leg in a cast for at least 6 weeks is necessary.
  • If the

    tillaux fracture

    is a displacement type, a surgery would be required.


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