UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Pediatrics

Title: Child Abuse

Keywords: Child Abuse, Fractures (PubMed Search)

Posted: 12/14/2007 by Sean Fox, MD (Updated: 10/18/2019)
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Child Abuse

  • An estimated 2,815,600 children are harmed or endangered by their caretakers annually
  • Fractures are among the most common injuries seen in these children and are frequently highly specific for a diagnosis of abuse.
  • No fracture is pathognomonic of abuse
  • Some are suggestive:
    • Spinal fx
    • Digital fx
    • Complex skull fx
    • Spiral Long Bone fx
    • Scapular fx
    • Sternal fx
    • Metaphyseal fx
    • Periosteal separation
  • Some are more specific:
    • Posterior Rib fx
    • Acromioclavicular Fx
    • Multiple fxs of different ages
  • Infants < 1 year of age with fractures have a high prevalence of abuse.

    C Y Skellern, D O Wood, A Murphy, M Crawford (2000). Non-accidental fractures in infants: Risk of further abuse. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 36 (6), 590–592.

    K. Nimkin, P. Kleinman. IMAGING OF CHILD ABUSE. Radiologic Clinics of North America, Volume 39, Issue 4, Pages 843-864