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Stress fractures of ankle and wrist in childhood: nature and frequency.

BACKGROUND: Stress fractures of many etiologies are found not infrequently in various tarsal bones but are less commonly recognized in carpal bones.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the distribution of tarsal and carpal stress fractures.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: During the last three decades, the senior author collected locations of tarsal and carpal bone stress fracture callus seen on plain radiographs.

RESULTS: 527 children with tarsal and carpal stress fractures were identified (88 children had multiple bones involved). The totals were: calcaneus 244, cuboid 188, talus 121, navicular 24, cuneiforms 23, capitate 18, lunate 1, and scaphoid 1. Stress fractures were more frequently seen once we became aware each particular bone could be involved.

CONCLUSION: Tarsal and carpal stress fractures in children are not rare. Careful perusal of these bones is urged in all susceptible children with limping or wrist pain.

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