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Avulsion Fracture Treatment, Avulsion Bone Fracture Surgery, Healing Time, Symptoms, Causes and Recovery Information

18 Jul


An avulsion fracture is any fracture in the bone wherein a tendon or a ligament is attached. Meaning, this is a small bone fracture that came off from a bone that was pulled off by a ligament or tendon because of sheer tension and pressure. Avulsion fractures can occur anywhere in the bone as long as there is a strong tendon or ligament connected to the bone. This type of fracture is more common in children because their bones are still not fully developed, delicate, and is thus prone to avulsion fractures.

In adults, the common areas where avulsion fractures exist are the iliac crest, phalanges or fingers, iliac spine, knees, feet and many other areas where tendons and ligaments are strongly attached. Some doctors do not consider this a serious form of bone fracture but it can cause severe pain and swelling on the injured region so sometimes surgeries may also be involved to repair the fracture.

Avulsion Fracture Types

There are actually no large classifications of avulsion fractures in our bodies because they do not occur in any specific part but rather, in any bone that has ligaments in it. However, it has been observed that avulsion fractures are common on the foot, pelvic and arm areas, which indicate that where there are smaller bones, an avulsion fracture is most likely to occur especially if an accident happens. One type of avulsion fracture that is common to people who use their legs more than the standard use is the Segond fracture. This type of fracture usually occurs on the lateral tibial condyle of the knee which is located above the thigh bone or the femur and because the leg muscles are large, the ligaments here are also sturdier and stronger and they have the tendency to pull off a piece of the bone from the leg bone when the muscles are under stressed.

Avulsion Fracture Diagnosis

Where the person suddenly complained of a stabbing pain in any region of the body while doing a strenuous exercise, running, or weight lifting and there is swelling, most likely this is an avulsion fracture. Especially if the person cannot move that part where the pain occurred and may cry in pain if forced to move, there could be a piece of bone that has been detached from another bone. The X-ray may show the fractured bone part or a bone fragment that is out of place not far from where its bone source is. Since some avulsion fractures are small, an MRI may also be required so that there could not be any misdiagnosis with the fracture.

Avulsion Fracture Causes

Usually an avulsion fracture occurs when there is a strong force that was applied by a strong muscle into the bone and the bone cannot withstand the force and then pulled a piece of the bone, resulting to a small fracture. Since some large muscles are stronger than small bones, a quick turning or a sudden motion such as when hitting or pitching a ball during baseball, sudden turning of the body during basketball or ballet dancing may result an avulsion fracture.

Avulsion Fracture Symptoms

Just like other fractures in the bone, avulsion fractures also cause the same symptoms and manifestations and these may include:

• Swelling and pain on the fractured area
• Tenderness and severe pain when touched
• Painful and difficulty in walking if it occur on foot or knee
• Bruising may occur

Avulsion Fracture Treatment

Doctors generally treat avulsion fractures just like soft-tissue injuries. For instance, when a person suffers an avulsion fracture in his hamstring this fracture can be treated like a tear in the hamstring. This type of fracture is called an ischial tuberosity avulsion. Normally, this type of avulsion fracture does not need surgery but only rest is required and pain reliever for pain management. However, when a bone is pulled some centimeters away from its bone source, then surgery must be needed to correct the fracture.

One common example of an avulsion fracture is a sprain in the ankle. There are many ligaments in the foot area because there are smaller bones there that need support. But if the ankle ligaments put stress on a certain piece of bone and slightly pulled it off from its position, this fracture can also be treated as a sprain. Moreover, the case of avulsion fracture can be different in children. Because their bones are still developing, when an avulsion occur and the bone was misaligned this must be corrected as early as possible and sometimes surgery must be done to align the bone and make the growth of the bone stabilized.


To prevent small bone fractures, one must not allow his or her body to be overworked to the extent that it can already cause damage on the body itself. Remember that fractures are usually caused by severe trauma but with avulsion fractures, sometimes this is not the case. The best recommendations for those who are into heavy exercise is to stop doing things when their bodies ache because a body that is already under strain is prone to ligament and bone tear. Muscular contractions can cause avulsion fractures; even a muscle can sometimes be stronger than the bone because it can flex, twist, and turn and thus can pull away the bone that is connected to it.

When to Call A Doctor

When you see a person suddenly yell with pain while doing stretching exercises or lifting weights but without a trauma from outside source, observed the regions where the pain occurs. If there is swelling, tenderness and bruising these could be a case of an avulsion fracture. Bring the person to the doctor for a complete diagnosis because such fractures are very painful and can also cause complications to the overall condition of the body.

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