Pediatric avulsion fractures of pelvis: current concepts

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Provide the reader with an evidence-based update on the importance of accurate diagnosis of commonly missed avulsion fractures of pelvis apophyses, the necessary imaging studies, the feared complications and the recent treatment recommendations.

Recent findings

Accurate diagnosis of avulsion fractures of pelvis apophyses is high yield as misdiagnosis leads to improper treatment. They should be differentiated from muscle strain and apophysitis. These fractures are usually associated with good outcomes; however, missed diagnosis can lead to further displacement, nonunion, functional limitation, femoroacetabular impingement and infection. A/P and frog lateral pelvis radiograph show the fracture and its displacement in the majority of cases. Conservative treatment, consisting of a short period of rest and immobilization followed by passive stretching then progressive resisted activity before return to sports, is recommended in minimally displaced avulsions. Surgical treatment is favored in displaced fractures (>15 mm), as it is associated with quicker return to sports.

Summary

Treating physicians should keep a high index of suspicion in pediatric and adolescent patients presenting with typical clinical exam findings. Pelvic Anteroposterior and frog leg radiographs are often diagnostic. Missed diagnosis can aggravate the prognosis of a usually benign condition. Adequate medical or surgical treatment should then be administered.

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