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General principles of fracture management: Fracture patterns and description in children

Authors
David J Mathison, MD, MBA
Dewesh Agrawal, MD
Section Editor
Richard G Bachur, MD
Deputy Editor
James F Wiley, II, MD, MPH

INTRODUCTION

This topic discusses the unique properties of pediatric fractures and illustrates different classification systems that exist to identify and describe them. Management of specific fractures is discussed separately and can be found by searching for the anatomic region of interest.

Common fracture patterns (eg, transverse, oblique, spiral) seen in both children and adults are discussed in detail separately. (See "General principles of fracture management: Bone healing and fracture description", section on 'Orientation: Transverse, oblique, and spiral'.)

BACKGROUND

Musculoskeletal injuries comprise approximately 12 percent of the 10 million annual visits to United States pediatric emergency departments [1]. Skeletal fractures account for a significant proportion of these injuries and cause considerable cost and morbidity to children. Despite aggressive campaigns for injury prevention, the overall rate of fractures has been increasing [2-5].

Fractures in children exhibit unique patterns. Because of the distinctive properties of the growing bone, special attention is required to differentiate normal variants and, for the physeal fracture, to guarantee adequate healing while avoiding growth disturbance. (See 'Physeal fracture description' below.)

FRACTURE DESCRIPTION IN CHILDREN

Describing a fracture entails a thorough explanation of both the clinical scenario and the radiographic findings (table 1).

                       

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Thu Jun 18 00:00:00 GMT+00:00 2015.
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