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Radiographic Assessment of Pediatric Fracture Healing and Time Since Injury

NCJ Number
Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 56 Issue: 5 Dated: September 2011 Pages: 1123-1130
Christina A. Malone, M.F.S.; Norman J. Sauer, Ph.D.; Todd W. Fenton, Ph.D.
Date Published
September 2011
8 pages
This study aims to evaluate and compare rates of fracture repair in children based on age and skeletal element.
Past studies and pediatric bone physiology indicate that younger individuals may heal at a faster rate. Additionally, in adults upper limb fractures heal faster than lower limb fractures; this trend is expected for pediatric fractures. Six stages are used to describe the bone repair process in 294 radiographs of tibial and radial fractures from 107 infants and young children. Healing rates are examined using ANOVA and Welch's t-test with a 95 percent confidence interval. Results indicate that younger individuals spend less time at stage 1, suggesting a delay in the start of healing. Furthermore, forearm fractures heal faster than leg fractures at stages 2 and 3, suggesting a role in the osseous reaction of bone healing. The healing schedule presented may allow the timing of injuries to be estimated from radiographs. (Published Abstract)