Avulsion fractures are chips of bone pulled off by muscle tendons or ligaments. Common avulsion fractures are on the hand and foot. Avulsion fractures can also involve the elbow, knee, hip, and pelvis. The diagnosis is usually made by x-ray or ultrasound exam. These fractures may cause a deformity if the growth plate of the bone is involved in growing children.
Avulsion fractures can take several weeks to heal. They need long term protection and followup.
Do not remove the splint, immobilizer, or cast that has been applied to treat your injury unless instructed to do so. This is the most important part of your treatment. Other measures for treating avulsion fractures include:
- Keep the injured limb at rest and elevated as recommended by your caregiver. This reduces pain and swelling. Use pillows to rest and elevate your arm or leg at night.
- Ice packs can be applied to your injury every twenty minutes while awake for the next two days or as directed.
- Pain medicine may be prescribed.
Avulsion fractures near joints may require rehabilitation. Rarely an avulsion fracture needs surgery to hold pieces together. Proper follow-up care is important. Call your caregiver for a follow-up appointment.
Seek Immediate Medical Care If:
- You notice increasing pain or pressure in the injury
- The area becomes cold, numb, or pale
For more information about avulsion fractures, please call (918) 494-AOOK (2665).