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Radial and ulnar fractures

The following is a summary of the systematic review findings up to the date of our most recent literature search. If you have a specific clinical case, we strongly recommend you read all of the relevant references as cited and look for additional material published outside our search dates.


  • Of 540 studies reviewed, four comparative studies addressed abusive radial and ulnar fractures 1-4
  • The majority of non-abusive fractures were greenstick, Worlock identified metaphyseal ulnar fractures in the abused group only 1-4
  • In children aged less than 18 months old radial/ulnar fractures were more common in the abused than the control group (p=0.001) 3
  • In children less than four years of age with a radius / ulnar fracture, the OR for abuse is 5.8 (95%CI 2.4, 14.3) p<0.001 3

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  1. Kowal-Vern A, Paxton TP, Ros SP, Lietz H, Fitzgerald M, Gamelli RL. Fractures in the under-3-year-old age cohort. Clinical Pediatrics. 1992;31(11):653-659 [Pubmed]
  2. Leventhal JM, Thomas SA, Rosenfield NS, Markowitz RI. Fractures in young children. Distinguishing child abuse from unintentional injuries. American Journal of Diseases of Children. 1993;147(1):87-92 [Pubmed]
  3. Pandya NK, Baldwin K, Wolfgruber H, Christian CW, Drummond DS, Hosalkar HS. Child abuse and orthopaedic injury patterns: analysis at a level I pediatric trauma center. Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics. 2009;29(6):618-625 [Pubmed]
  4. Worlock P, Stower M, Barbor P. Patterns of fractures in accidental and non-accidental injury in children: a comparative study. British Medical Journal (Clinical Research Edition). 1986;293(6539):100-102 [Pubmed]


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