Author(s): Reynolds DA
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Abstract In this study of fractures of the shaft of the tibia and femur in children, the growth rate of these long bones after injury was assessed by serial radiographical measurements of bone length, accurate to the nearest millimetre. Within three months of injury the rate of growth was at its maximum and was 38 per cent in excess of normal. The rate then decreased but remained significantly raised for two years and returned to normal in the tibia approximately 40 months after injury and in the femur between 50 and 60 months. The uninjured tibia in the same limb as a fractured femur also underwent an acceleration of growth, but to a lesser degree. An uninjured femur was not so affected by an injured tibia. The growth rate in these limbs was unaffected by the age or sex of the child, or the site or direction of the fracture. These findings may be of clinical use in the timing of corrective treatment where a leg length discrepancy exists as a result of injury to, or malunion of, a long bone in the lower limb of a child.
This article was published in J Bone Joint Surg Br
and referenced in Orthopedic & Muscular System: Current Research