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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2000 Nov;82(8):1170-3.

Ultrasound in the diagnosis of fractures in children.

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  • 1Clinic of Paediatric Surgery, Medical University of Lübeck, Germany.


We compared the results of primary ultrasonographic examination of 163 children with 224 suspected fractures with the subsequent radiological findings. The aim was to assess the value of ultrasound in the diagnosis of fractures in children. We found a good correlation for fractures of the long bones of the upper and lower limbs. Ultrasound was most reliable for the detection of simple femoral and humeral diaphyseal fractures and fractures of the forearm. It was less dependable for compound injuries and fractures adjacent to joints, lesions of the small bones of the hand and foot, non-displaced epiphyseal fractures (Salter-Harris type 1) or those with a fracture line of less than 1mm. We were able to distinguish several types of fracture in which the use of ultrasound alone gave reliable information and further radiography was unnecessary. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of skeletal ultrasonographic studies in children.

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