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Ultrasound imaging of forearm fractures in children: a viable alternative?
  1. Dominic Williamson1,
  2. Roland Watura2,
  3. Mark Cobby2
  1. 1Emergency Department, Frenchay Hospital, Bristol BS16 1LE
  2. 2Accident and Orthopaedic X-ray Department, Frenchay Hospital
  1. Dr Williamson, Specialist Registrar, (e-mail dom.w{at}


Objective—A pilot study to investigate whether ultrasonography can be reliably used to demonstrate uncomplicated greenstick and torus fractures in children.

Method—Children between the ages of 2 and 14 years with a high clinical suspicion of a non-articular, undisplaced forearm fracture were included. Ultrasound imaging of the injury was performed by a consultant radiologist who gave an immediate report. Standard radiographs of the forearm were then obtained and the patient treated in the normal way. The radiograph was formally reported on at a later date.

Results—26 patients were included. There was an absolute correlation between the ultrasound and radiographic findings. The procedure was well tolerated.

Conclusion—Ultrasound seems effective for detecting uncomplicated forearm fractures in children. The procedure is easy to perform and the images easy to interpret. A larger study will now be undertaken to confirm these initial findings.

  • ultrasound
  • fracture
  • forearm
  • children

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  • Conflict of interest: none.

  • Funding: none.