Normal Anatomy and Variants that Simulate Injury

  • Filip M. Vanhoenacker
  • Kristof De Cuyper
  • Helen Williams
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


The immature skeleton differs fundamentally from the adult skeleton. The interpretation of imaging studies in young athletes requires a thorough expertise in the normal developmental musculoskeletal anatomy and its spectrum of variations. Knowledge of the normal anatomy variants and other pitfalls avoids overinterpretation and unnecessary and harmful treatment. There are many mimickers of acute and chronic musculoskeletal trauma in sportive children and adolescents on imaging studies. Most of these mimickers are related to normal developmental variations whereas others are due to artifacts. Most variants are asymptomatic but some variants may become symptomatic or predispose to pathology. Plain radiography is the mainstay in the correct diagnosis but MRI and ultrasound may be helpful in the differential diagnosis of normal variants vs. traumatic disorders in selected cases. Rare congenital bone diseases may mimic acute or chronic trauma of the musculoskeletal system.


Bone Marrow Edema Ossification Center Sesamoid Bone Secondary Ossification Center Immature Skeleton 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Filip M. Vanhoenacker
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kristof De Cuyper
    • 2
  • Helen Williams
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity Hospital AntwerpEdegemBelgium
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyGeneral Hospital Sint-Maarten Duffel-MechelenDuffelBelgium
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyBirmingham Children’s HospitalBirminghamUK

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