What Are the Treatments for an Avulsion Fracture?

Avulsion fractures occurs when a ligament or tendon attached to a bone partially detaches, taking a bone fragment with it. These fractures usually happen due to a forceful muscle contraction. In children, avulsion fractures are common in areas of the bone made up of cartilage. These types of fractures are rarely complicated and easily treated unless there tendon or ligament damage accompanies the fracture. Treatments for avulsion fractures include rest and ice, immobilization and surgery.

Rest and Ice

The simplest treatment of avulsion fractures features ice and rest. Since many of these fractures heal on their own, The Mayo Clinic suggests icing the affected area and resting or avoiding activity that could aggravate the injury until the fracture heals. Avulsion fractures may still appear on x-rays, even after the injury repairs itself with this non-surgical option.


Avulsion fractures are sometimes successfully treated with cast immobilization if the injury is more severe. The fractured area receives a cast for a period of four to six weeks, combined with ice therapy. Ice should be applied for a period of 20 to 30 minutes every three to four hours during times of pain or swelling. X-rays indicate the success of immobilization in healing. If successful, physical therapy often follow immobilization of avulsion fractures in order to return the patient to full use of the affected area.


Severe avulsion fractures that involve ligament or tendon damage often necessitate surgical intervention, as well as fractures in unstable areas. Surgery may include placement of pins, wires, rods, screws or plates to hold the bones together. Tendon and ligament repair often involves sewing torn ends together, although more severe cases may require grafts to repair the injury.

As with any surgery, health risks exist. Patients run the chance of bleeding, infections, formation of scar tissue and rejection of implants. Cancer caused by implants constitutes a very small risk.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.