Taking the stress out of evaluating stress injuries in children

Camilo Jaimes, Mauricio Jimenez, Nogah Shabshin, Tal Laor, Diego Jaramillo
Radiographics: a Review Publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc 2012, 32 (2): 537-55
Pediatric stress injuries result from a mismatch between (a) the burden of activity on growing bone and cartilage and (b) their intrinsic biomechanical properties. Although the presentation of stress injuries varies with the specific physical activity and the site of injury, in children it varies primarily with the degree of skeletal maturation. During the past several years, there has been a substantial increase in the incidence of pediatric stress injuries. The differential diagnosis of a stress injury in a child or adolescent can be challenging because the injury sometimes can appear aggressive at imaging assessment. Awareness of the spectrum of imaging features of stress injuries can help the radiologist to reach the correct diagnosis and prevent unnecessary anxiety. This review depicts the range of stress injuries in children and adolescents in various anatomic locations, with emphasis on their appearances at magnetic resonance imaging.

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