How are broken legs in children diagnosed?
At Boston Children’s Hospital, the first step in treating broken legs in children is to form an accurate and complete diagnosis.
A doctor will use different diagnostic tests to get detailed images of your child’s fracture:
Typical tests include:
- X-ray: a diagnostic test that uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film; usually sufficient for the majority of fractures.
- Magnetic resonance imaging(MRI): a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
- Computed tomography scan(CT, CAT scan): a diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce cross-sectional images (often called slices), both horizontally and vertically, of the body.
- Bone scan: a non-invasive imaging technique that uses a radioactive substance to visualize the bones. It’s different from plain X-rays or CT scans in that it shows bone metabolism and cell activity in the bones.