Fractures Presumed to Be Low Risk for Abuse in Young Mobile Children: Association With Concomitant Suspicious Injuries.

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DOI: 10.1097/PEC.0000000000002161


OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the likelihood of abuse for various fractures, we aimed to compare the prevalence of concomitant suspicious injuries (CSIs) in subjects with fractures presumed to be low risk for abuse to those with non-low-risk fractures (aim 1) and to evaluate the prevalence of low-risk and non-low-risk fractures identified on skeletal survey (SS) (aim 2).

METHODS: Subjects included toddlers 9 to 23 months of age presenting to a children's hospital system with a fracture and having an SS completed (aim 1) as well as those who had an SS completed for any concern for abuse (aim 2). For aim 1, we performed a 5-year retrospective case-control study. Low-risk fractures were defined as extremity buckle, clavicle, supracondylar, or toddler's fractures. Controls included moderate- and high-risk fracture groups. Groups were compared for the prevalence of CSIs. For aim 2, we described the frequencies of all fracture types identified by SS completed for any concern for abuse over the same period.

RESULTS: For aim 1, there were 58 low-risk, 92 moderate-risk, and 8 high-risk fractures. The rates of CSIs were not significantly different between low- and moderate-risk fractures (odds ratio, 0.9; 95% confidence interval, 0.4-2.5), whereas half of high-risk fractures had CSIs. Forty-five subjects had an occult fracture on SS completed for any abuse concern. All low-risk fractures were identified by SS, most commonly buckle fractures (22.2% of cases).

CONCLUSIONS: Fractures presumed to be low risk for abuse in young, mobile children require consideration of abuse as a cause.

Journal Title

Pediatric emergency care





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MeSH Keywords

Case-Control Studies; Child; Child Abuse; Fractures, Bone; Fractures, Closed; Humans; Infant; Retrospective Studies; Tibial Fractures


Case-Control Studies; Child Abuse; Bone Fractures; Closed Fractures; Retrospective Studies; Tibial Fractures

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