Jun 11, 2015
Inflicted non-accidental skeletal injuries form a small but important part of the spectrum of child abuse, with the majority of skeletal injuries occurring in children under 2 years of age. Radiology plays a vital role in the detection and evaluation of these skeletal injuries. A thorough detailed radiological evaluation should be undertaken in order to investigate appropriately a child for suspected inflicted non-accidental injury. This is to detect accurately, and possibly date, any injuries, exclude normal variants of growth which may mimic fractures and possibly to diagnose any underlying metabolic or genetic disorder of the bone which may predispose a child to fracturing. Any fracture may be the result of an inflicted injury or accidental event. It is therefore appropriate that any fracture that is identified is correlated with relevant appropriate clinical history. Certain injuries, such as rib or metaphyseal fractures, require a more specific method of causation and therefore have a higher degree of suspicion of being the result of an inflicted injury than other fracture types, such as skull and clavicular fractures, which are relatively non-specific in their mechanism of causation. In all cases, correlation with the clinical history is mandatory. While radiology does play an important role in the dating of injuries, the dating of fractures from the radiological findings is difficult and imprecise.