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Pediatr Radiol. 2019 Nov;49(12):1595-1609. doi: 10.1007/s00247-019-04461-x. Epub 2019 Nov 4.

Physeal bridges: causes, diagnosis, characterization and post-treatment imaging.

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Department of Radiology, Nemours Children's Hospital and Health System, 13535 Nemours Parkway, Orlando, FL, 32827, USA.


The cartilaginous primary physis, or growth plate, at the end of long bones in children allows for longitudinal bone growth. A variety of insults to the physis can lead to physeal bridge formation, which in turn can lead to limb-shortening and angular deformities. This paper begins with a description of the causes, risk factors and mechanisms by which bridges form. Then it reviews the use of imaging in the diagnosis and characterization of bridges and in the evaluation of treatment and post-treatment complications. It is important for radiologists taking care of children to be aware of the indirect and direct imaging findings of physeal bridges to aid in their diagnosis, to be able to characterize bridges as part of preoperative planning, and to know the imaging finding of post-resection complications.


Bone; Children; Growth disturbance; Growth plate; Magnetic resonance imaging; Physeal bridges; Physis; Radiography


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