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Using Bohlers Angle for Assessing Calcaneus Fractures

Bohler's angle (also sometimes referred to as the "Tuber Angle") is formed by an intersection of two lines that connect points on the cephalic aspect of the calcaneus bone.  The normal angle is 20 - 40 degrees.  If the angle is < 20 degrees it is suggestive of a calcaneus fracture.

  • The use of this angle by emergency physicians has been shown to be helpful in aiding in the diagnosis of calcaneus fractures and to have excellent interrater reliability.
  • When using cut points < 20 degrees for the lower limit of normal fewer false positives for "abnormal" will occur.

Editors:  Anthony J. Busti, MD, PharmD, FNLA, FAHA
Last Reviewed:  August 2015

Original Studies

  • Knight JR, et al. Boehler's angle and the critical angle of Gissane are of limited use in diagnosing calcaneus fractures in the ED. Am J Emerg Med 2006;24(4):423-7. PubMed

Supporting Studies

  • Chen, MY, et al. Boehler's angle: a reappraisal. Ann Emerg Med 1991;20(2):122-4. PubMed

Related Articles & Reviews

  • Germann CA et al.  Orthopedic pitfalls in the ED: calcaneal fractures.  Am J Emerg Med 2004;22(7):607-11. PubMed

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