Epidemiology and mechanisms of femur fractures in children

Randall T. Loder, Patrick W. O'Donnell, Judy R. Feinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

74 Scopus citations


The most common pediatric orthopaedic injury requiring hospitalization is a femur fracture. This study aimed to identify the epidemiology and mechanisms of injury so that these injuries might be reduced through specifically targeted safety measures. Data for this study were culled from the 2000 Kids' Inpatient Database representing over 2.5 million pediatric hospital discharges. Of the nearly 10,000 femur fractures, 1076 (11%) occurred in children younger than 2 years; 2119 (21%) in children aged 2 to 5 years; 3237 (33%) in children aged 6 to 12 years; and 3528 (35%) in adolescents aged 13 to 18 years. The most (71%) occurred in male patients. Falls and motor vehicle collisions accounted for two thirds of those injuries, with the incidence of falls greater in the younger children and motor vehicle collisions more prevalent in older children. Fifteen percent of femoral fractures in children younger than 2 years were because of child abuse. Length of hospital stay, number of diagnoses and procedures, and hospital charges were greatest in the adolescent age group, likely because of high-energy trauma with resultant polytrauma. Hospital charges were more than $222 million with the average charge over 2.5 times that in adolescents compared with infants/toddlers. Pediatric orthopaedists must continue to press for increased safety for our children, particularly adolescent motor vehicle safety. Abuse should be considered when a child younger than 2 years presents with a femoral fracture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)561-566
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Child abuse
  • Children
  • Epidemiology
  • Femur
  • Fracture
  • Mechanism of injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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