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MD 3: Paeds > Limp & Fracture > Flashcards

Flashcards in Limp & Fracture Deck (37):

What are the key clinical features to identify on hx and examination of child presenting with limp?

Unilateral vs. bilateral
Sudden or gradual onset
Degree of weight bearing - some with pain or completely NWB
Pain at rest?
Local symptoms of joint?
Pain in buttocks, thigh and/or knee - consider abdo pain & testicular pathology
Context - Hx of trauma or injury, recent URTI or other infection
Systemic features - infection, sepsis, abdo pain, rash, neurological symptoms

Well or unwell child - possible sepsis?
Shortened limb or altered position of limb
Reduced ROM - esp. abduction and internal rotation
Asymmetrical thigh/gluteal creases
Swelling, redness of joint
Localised tenderness
Neurological findings
Gait examination
Ortolani and barlow tests in infant


What are important DDx to consider in all ages in child with a limp?

Septic arthritis
Traumatic fracture
Rheumatological - JIA
Functional limp


What are DDx specifically in infants with limp/non-weight bearing?



What are DDx specifically in toddlers with limp/non-weight bearing?

Irritable hip (transient synovitis)
Toddler's fracture
Perthes disease


What are DDx specifically in school aged child (<10) with limp/non-weight bearing??

Transient synovitis
Perthe's disease


What are DDx specifically in adolescence (>10) with limp/non-weight bearing??



When should a child with limp be Ix and what Ix should be done?

If no concerning features, limp <3 days typically doesn't require Ix

Bloods - FBE, CRP, ESR, blood cultures
XR - typically first line - chronic osteomyelitis, fracture, DDH after 6mths age, SUFE, perthe's
U/S - effusion (transient synovitis, septic arthritis), DDH
MRI - septic arthritis
Bone scan - osteomyelitis, occult fracture


Who typically presents with transient synovitis?

Very common - most common cause of limp in pre-school age

Typically 2-8 years


How is transient synovitis diagnosed?

Diagnosis of exclusion
Absence of fever, severe symptoms, raised CRP, ESR and duration <3 days, hx of URTI highly suggestive
Joint effusion on U/S suggestive (but can't determine if sterile or not)


What is the typical presentation of transient synovitis?

Constitutionally well child presenting with pain in hip and or partial limp
Usually unilateral but can be bilateral - if bilateral unlikely septic
Hx of recent URTI or viral illness


What are the clinical features of transient synovitis?

Mild-moderate decreased ROM (cf. with severe reduction in septic)
Afebrile, appears well
May have had previous episode - small number have repeated episodes


What are the common causes and affected joints of septic arthritis?

Most commonly lower limb

S.aureus, GAS, HIB
Gonorrhoea can cause - consider in sexually active adolescent


What is the typical presentation of septic arthritis?

Acute onset joint pain/pain with walking
Non-weight bearing or refusal to use limb
May appear unwell


What are the clinical features of septic arthritis?

Severed reduced ROM
Pain occurring at rest
Unable to weight bear
Vitals - suggestive of sepsis
Appearance and behaviour - suggestive of sepsis
May have hx of trauma, route of infection, immunosuppression


What are features to help distinguish between septic arthritis of hip and transient synovitis?

More likely in septic arthritis
- Fever
- appears unwell
- complete NWB compared to partial
- more severe restriction of ROM
- persisting >3 days without improvement

Kocher's criteria - elevated WCC & ESR, NWB, Fever - highly sensitive for septic arthritis if all present

CRP - independent factor

If fever and raised CRP highly suggestive of septic arthritis

U/S can show effusion but this can be present in both


Management for septic arthritis?

Ix - blood cultures, ESR, CRP, FBE
Urgent surgical referral - joint wash out
IV flucloxacillin
Immobilise and elevate limb


Management for transient synovitis?

Reassurance and education
- It is inflammation of the lining of the hip joint
- may last 2 weeks but will begin to improve after 3 days. - It is a mild, self-limiting condition that commonly occurs after an infection but it's cause is unknown
- may have future episodes

- rest, analgesia (paracetamol or NSAIDs)


What are risk factors and associated features of DDH?

Congenital abnormalities i.e. club foot, down syndrome
First born

Intrauterine packing disorders


What is the clinical presentation and features of DDH?

Detection on clinical and U/S screening after newborn or 6-week examination
- Joint instability (barlow) or joint dislocation (ortolani)

Asymmetrical thigh/gluteal creases (soft sign)
Shortened affected limb/decreased thigh length
Limb in older child
Limited hip abduction


Who should be screened for DDH?

All newborns and 6-week infants should be clinically screened

Those with high-risk factors and abnormal clinical require U/S screen

Repeat examination during first year as clinical and U/S screening has its limitations


What are the Ix choices for DDH?

<6mths = U/S
>6mths = XRAY


What is the management for DDH?

1. before 6-weeks = observation, bracing in Pavlik harness
2. Before 3-months = hip spica (cast) or surgical reduction if unable to be clinically reduced
3. After walking = surgical reduction and pelvic osteotomy


What is a SUFE and what are the risk factors/associated factors?

Slipped upper femoral epiphysis

Obese, male, adolescent
Can be bilateral


What are the complications of SUFE?

Early OA


What is the typical presentation of SUFE?

Can be acute or chronic (progressive over >3weeks) - most are chronic (85%)

Antalgic gait
Out-toeing and some shortening of affected limb
Vague pain in groin, hip, knee - most commonly presents as solely knee pain

Reliable clinical sign = external rotation of hip during flexion


Management of SUFE?

Surgical Rx


What is Perthe's disease and what are the risk factors/associated factors?

Avascular necrosis of capital femoral epiphysis

Occurs 2 - 12 years - majority 4 - 8
Males ++
Can be bilateral

Low birth weight, delayed bone age


How does Perthe's disease present?

Pain and limp for at least 1 week with restricted hip motion


How is Perthe's disease Rx?

Ix - plain XR and bone scan
Surgical Rx - pinning


What are the differences in bone characteristics that make fractures different in children to adults?

Osteoid is less dense - can therefore bend before they break
- Buckle, plastic bowing and greenstick fractures

The younger the child, the quicker the healing

The closer to a joint, the quicker the healing


What are red-flags for NAI in fractures?

Delayed presentation
Injury not compatible with mechanism
Vague history
Features of FTT or prior injury

Spiral humeral shaft # in a toddler
Femoral shaft # <2y


What are the assessment principles of #?

Mechanism of injury
Tetanus status

Neurovascular assessment
Tenderness and swelling
Open vs. closed
Visible deformity
Imaging - lateral and AP views of joint + joints above and below

*consider any signs for NAI


What are the important Rx principles of #?

Referral if complicated/open #/involves joint line


Splinting before imaging

Reduction and immobilisation
- Often can be reduced with gas in ED, may require GA in other circumstances
- Greenstick, buckle, torus fractures usually backslab
- Surgery if open of complicated #

If manipulation or reduction need follow-up XRAY in 1/52
Need monitoring if affecting growth plate as can arrest growth


What are the important education points about fracture care and plaster care for parents?

Plasters usually remain on for ~6 weeks (can be less if backslab)
Need to avoid contact sports for ~8w after to prevent re-injury

Plaster care
-In first 24 hrs - immobilise with sling, elevate above level of heart to reduce swelling
-Represent if numbness, discolouration, swelling or pain in fingers/toes
-If lower limb <6 yrs walking frame instead of crutches
-Don't get plaster wet, don't stick things down it to scratch
-Avoid bumping or hitting cast
-Okay to draw on cast but don't paint on it


What is a common # in toddlers?

Toddlers #
Undisplaced # of tibia without periosteal break
Due to impact or twisting injury
Walking age - 3 years
Back slab (not always required)


Common # in school age children?

Supracondylar #
Humeral condyles of elbow
Commonly after FOOSH
Possible injury to median and radial nerves and brachial artery
-Possible compartment syndrome - volkmann's contracture (ischaemia of flexor tendons)


What is most commone # in early adolescence?

Forearm # in 12-14 yo
Greenstick, plastic bow or complete #
Commonly after FOOSH
Above elbow cast