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Fracture type

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.


  • Meservy et al studied 134 children aged less than two years old (motor vehicle accident excluded), 39 of whom were abused 3
  • Multiple or bilateral fractures, or those that crossed suture lines, were more common in abused children, p<0.05 3
  • No significant differences were recorded between the two aetiology groups with relation to nonparietal, depressed, diastatic >/3mm or complex fractures 3
  • The commonest abusive and non-abusive fractures were linear 2-5
  • In a series of alleged short distance fall victims, four children aged between two days and 18 months exhibited bilateral linear skull fractures 1

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  1. Hiss J, Kahana T. The medicolegal implications of bilateral cranial fractures in infants. The Journal of Trauma: Injury, Infection, and Critical Care. 1995;38(1):32-34 [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. Meservy CJ, Towbin R, McLaurin RL, Myers PA, Ball W. Radiographic characteristics of skull fractures resulting from child abuse. American Journal of Roentgenology. 1987;149(1):173-175 [Pubmed]
  4. Reece RM, Sege R. Childhood head injuries: accidental or inflicted? Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. 2000;154(1):11-15 [Pubmed]
  5. 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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