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Open Access Research article

The paediatric Bohler's angle and crucial angle of Gissane: a case series

Matthew J Boyle1*, Cameron G Walker2 and Haemish A Crawford1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Paediatric Orthopaedics, Starship Children's Hospital, Park Road, Auckland, New Zealand

2 Department of Engineering Science, The University of Auckland, Symonds Street, Auckland, New Zealand

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Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research 2011, 6:2  doi:10.1186/1749-799X-6-2

Published: 10 January 2011

Abstract

Background

Bohler's angle and the crucial angle of Gissane can be used to assess calcaneal fractures. While the normal adult values of these angles are widely known, the normal paediatric values have not yet been established. Our aim is to investigate Bohler's angle and the crucial angle of Gissane in a paediatric population and establish normal paediatric reference values.

Method

We measured Bohler's angle and the crucial angle of Gissane using normal plain ankle radiographs of 763 patients from birth to 14 years of age completed over a five year period from July 2003 to June 2008.

Results

In our paediatric study group, the mean Bohler's angle was 35.2 degrees and the mean crucial angle of Gissane was 111.3 degrees. In an adult comparison group, the mean Bohler's angle was 39.2 degrees and the mean crucial angle of Gissane was 113.8 degrees. The differences in Bohler's angle and the crucial angle of Gissane between these two groups were statistically significant.

Conclusion

We have presented the normal values of Bohler's angle and the crucial angle of Gissane in a paediatric population. These values may provide a useful comparison to assist with the management of the paediatric calcaneal fracture.