Often times, I get called to triage to help decide whether a patient should be sent to Radiology for an initial x-ray after injuring their knee, ankle, and/or foot. After teaching one of the nurses about the Ottawa rules, she taped a list of these rules on the triage wall.

This installment of the Paucis Verbis (In a Few Words) e-card series reviews Ottawa Knee, Ankle, and Foot Rules.

PV Card: Ottawa Knee, Ankle, and Foot Rules

Adapted from [1-3] Go to ALiEM (PV) Cards for more resources.


  1. Emparanza J, Aginaga J, Estudio M. Validation of the Ottawa Knee Rules. Ann Emerg Med. 2001;38(4):364-368. [PubMed]
  2. Bulloch B, Neto G, Plint A, et al. Validation of the Ottawa Knee Rule in children: a multicenter study. Ann Emerg Med. 2003;42(1):48-55. [PubMed]
  3. Mayer D. The injured ankle and foot. BMJ. 2009;339:b2901. [PubMed]
Michelle Lin, MD
ALiEM Founder and CEO
Professor and Digital Innovation Lab Director
Department of Emergency Medicine
University of California, San Francisco
Michelle Lin, MD


Professor of Emerg Med at UCSF-Zuckerberg SF General. ALiEM Founder @aliemteam #PostitPearls at https://t.co/50EapJORCa Bio: https://t.co/7v7cgJqNEn
Michelle Lin, MD