Fractures of the lateral process of the talus are an uncommon injury, which are often misdiagnosed as severe ankle sprain. This error may result in inappropriate treatment of an intraarticular fracture, with subsequent posttraumatic arthrosis. To date, only one fracture of a lateral talar process has been reported in a child, in whom delayed diagnosis and initial mismanagement led to a suboptimal result. The sport of 'snowboarding', which is gaining in popularity, has been significantly associated with fractures of the lateral talar process, leading some authors to dub this fracture 'Snowboarder's Fracture'. This and the ever-increasing incidence of major trauma lead us to believe that this fracture will be encountered more frequently, even in the pediatric population, as the two factors mentioned do not pass over this group. We report lateral talar process fractures in two children: one in a 9-year-old girl and one in an 11-year-old boy, the latter associated with talar neck and body fractures. Timely diagnosis enabled prompt open reduction and internal fixation, preventing subtalar arthrosis. We discuss the pertinent anatomy and mechanism, and present the clinical picture, imaging studies and treatment. Two important points are exemplified by these cases. First, this fracture, although rare, does occur in children, and should be sought in appropriate settings. Second, despite the severe talar injury in the 11 year old, early diagnosis and intervention conserved foot function.
- Lateral process
- Open reduction and internal fixation