Long bone fracture characteristics in children with medical conditions linked to bone health.


Department of Bioengineering, University of Louisville, J.B. Speed School of Engineering, 500 S. Preston St., Louisville, KY 40202, United States. Electronic address: [Email]


BACKGROUND : Knowledge of fracture characteristics among children with medical conditions affecting bone could help to distinguish medical causes from child abuse.
OBJECTIVE : Characterize long bone fracture morphology among children diagnosed with medical conditions linked to bone health.
METHODS : Patients <18 years at a single pediatric hospital diagnosed with a medical condition linked to bone health and ≥1 long bone fracture were studied.
METHODS : This retrospective medical record review categorized underlying medical diagnoses as: metabolic bone disease, genetic disorder of connective tissue, neurologic disorder and other chronic disease. A pediatric radiologist reviewed plain films to determine fracture type and location. Descriptive statistics, as well as logistic regression were used to compare fracture types by clinical characteristics.
RESULTS : Ninety-four patients were included and their diagnoses were genetic connective disorder (19; 20.2 %), metabolic bone disease (16; 17.0 %), neurologic disorder (27; 28.7 %), and other (32; 34.0 %). A total of 216 long bone fractures were sustained; 52.1 % of children had >1 long bone fracture. Of the 216 fractures, 55 (25.5 %) were in children < 1 year, 118 (54.6 %) were associated with known trauma, and 122 (56.5 %) were in non-ambulatory patients. Lower extremity fractures occurred with greatest frequency and most fractures occurred at the mid-diaphysis. Transverse was the most common fracture type in all diagnostic categories. Children with metabolic disorders had highest odds of transverse fracture (COR 3.55, CI 1.45-8.67; neurologic disorders as reference group).
CONCLUSIONS : Diseases affecting bone health can influence fracture morphology. Transverse fractures were most common in bones impacted by disease.

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