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Biomechanical Investigation of the Effect of Bone Disorders on Pediatric Femur Fracture Potential

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2018
12 pages
This is the Final Summary Overview of the findings and methodology of a research project with the goal of determining how material property and morphologic bone differences in children with bone disorders affect fracture potential, so as to provide scientific evidence that can enlighten comparisons of fracture potential in children with bone disorders to that of healthy children, thus improving the accuracy of forensic analysis and child abuse assessment in fracture cases.

There are several bone-fragility disorders that place children at an increased risk of fracture. Osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) and rickets are two disorders associated with differences in both bone morphology (shape) due to differing skeletal development and material properties compared to that of healthy children. This study had two objectives: 1) Characterize femur morphology and identify differences in morphology between healthy children (0-3 years old) and those with bone disorder (OI and rickets); and 2) Determine the influence of bone health on femur fracture potential for children 0-3 years old. The study reviewed relevant radiographic images and medical data obtained from four medical institutions, as well as radiographs and subject data for 40 subjects from a prior study at the University of Pittsburgh. There were 228 subjects with available femur x-rays across all sources; 42 percent were female, and 58 percent were male. Subjects were 67 percent White, 12 percent Black, 13 percent Native American, 1 percent Asian, and 7 percent unspecified. The second phase of the study focused on bone features of 97 healthy subjects with a CT. The results of this study have the potential to improve accuracy in child-abuse diagnoses, forensic investigations, and legal proceedings. 8 figures, 1 table, and 6 references

Date Published: December 1, 2018