Skeletal Trauma

  • Fred A. Lee
Part of the Current Diagnostic Pediatrics book series (CD PEDIATRICS)


The skeleton provides the framework for support and locomotion of the body and acts as a protective barrier for the vital internal organs. It bears the brunt of traumatic forces which may disrupt the integrity of the individual bones and the normal articulation between bones. This occurs more frequently in children than in adults because of their more exuberant and carefree activities and because their bones are slender and weaker. Fortunately, a child’s skeleton heals rapidly and with a great capacity for remodeling. The rate of bone healing is greater in the younger age. As an illustration, Salter cites the fact that a femoral shaft fracture will unite in 3 weeks in a neonate, in 8 weeks in an 8-year-old child, and in 12 weeks at the age of 12 years; whereas it will take approximately 20 weeks in adults [31]. A remarkable amount of callus can be deposited in a matter of days in a neonate (Fig. 11.1).


Growth Plate Radial Head Distal Humerus Ballet Dancer Epiphyseal Growth Plate 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1980

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  • Fred A. Lee

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