Beginner’s guide to Calcaneal Fractures

A crash course regarding calcaneal fractures.


Last edited: March 2016

Author: Rossi bad

The most fractured bone of all the tarsal bones is the calcaneus. They are mostly intra-articular and closed.

There are 3 common “types” of fractures as it relates to the calcaneus:

  1. Intra-articular: Primary fx line (oblique-shearing) results in two fx: superio-medial (constant fragment) and superolateral (posterior facet) fragments. Secondary fx line results in either tongue-type or joint depression.
  2. Extra-articular: gastroc-soleus avulsion fracture
  3. Anterior process fx: inversion/plantarflexion results bifurcate avulsion fx.


Common associated terms:

  1. Essex-Lopresti classification
  2. Rowe classification
  3. Sanders classification
  4. Degan classification
  5. Tongue type vs joint depression
  6. Gissane’s angle
  7. Bohler’s angle
  8. Constant fragment
  9. Harris view
  10. Broden view
  11. Shear fracture of Palmer
  12. Mondor’s sign



  1. Most commonly fractured tarsal bone? calcaneus
  2. Most important surgical concept in the surgical reduction of calcaneal fractures? elevate the posterior facet
  3. Rowe Class IV corresponds to Essex Lopresti