Tillaux fracture: Fracture of the anterolateral tibial epiphysis commonly seen in adolescents. (Salter-Harris III tibial fracture). See also: Wagstaffe-Le Fort Fracture – anteromedial fibula avulsion

  • Usually associated with forced lateral rotation of the foot or medial rotation of the leg on a fixed foot. This rotational injury results in avulsion of the anterior tibiofibular ligament at the lateral epiphysis.
  • Often misdiagnosed as a simple sprain in adolescents
  • Usually seen on conventional AP, lateral, and mortise ankle XR. However, CT scan has better sensitivity in diagnosing Tillaux fractures and used to detect fracture displacement of >2mm – often an indication for open reduction
Tillaux Fractures orthobullets

History of the Tillaux fracture

1822Astley Paston Cooper described a fracture of the lateral aspect of the distal tibia in the adult

1872Paul Jules Tillaux performed experiments on cadavers and found that stress to the anterior inferior tibiofibular ligament could lead to an avulsion fracture. Tillaux never clinically described the fracture.

1899Henri Chaput was the first to demonstrate a roentgenogram of a fracture in the dorsal lip of the tibia. He suggested that it was frequently observed as a complication of malleolar fractures. [Les fractures malléolaires du cou-de-pied et les accidents du travail – 1907]. He subsequently he observed it 42 times in 136 fractures of the ankle. [De la reduction des fractures malléolaires compliquées de luxation du pied – 1913]

2019Birnie et al proposed a new AITFL avulsion fracture classification system

Birnie classification AITFL
Birnie et al 2019. Modified AITFL avulsion fracture classification system

Associated Persons

Alternative names
  • Tillaux fracture
  • Tillaux-Chaput fracture (posterolateral tibia)
  • Salter Harris type III injury of the distal tibia


A similar injury to the posterolateral tibia cadeveric description by Tillaux (1872) was later described by Henri Chaput in 1907 hence the term the Tillaux-Chaput fracture.


Original articles

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the names behind the name

Emergency physician MA (Oxon) MBChB (Edin) FACEM FFSEM with a passion for rugby; medical history; medical education; and asynchronous learning #FOAMed evangelist. Co-founder and CTO of Life in the Fast lane | Eponyms | Books | Twitter |

Dr Josh Howard - wannabe future orthopod, finding myself in Australia | LinkedIn

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