Pathological fracture

Andrew Murphy and Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Pathological fractures are fractures that occur in abnormal bone.

The term pathological fracture is usually reserved through a malignancy, either benign or malignant, although it has been used in the setting osteomyelitis. It can be used in the setting of generalized metabolic bone disease (e.g. Paget disease, osteopetrosis), although the term insufficiency fracture is probably more correct 4

The most common location for pathological fractures are 4:

In addition, in adults patients, the avulsion of the femoral lesser trochanter should be considered a pathological fracture until proven otherwise 4.

Pathological fractures are feared by oncologists because they may cause immobilization of their patients, especially when the spine or lower extremities are affected.

A radiologist should mention the possibility of a pathological fracture if an osteolytic metastasis is seen. In principle, every osteolytic focus in the femoral neck or the spine is at risk of a pathological fracture.

Fractures
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Article information

rID: 6156
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Pathologic fractures
  • Pathologic fracture
  • Pathological fractures

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: prostate mets
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  • Metaphyseal patho...
    Case 2: ABC or UBC
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  • Case 3: from giant non-ossifying fibroma
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    Case 4: from breast cancer metastasing to bone
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  • Case 5: from metastatic thyroid cancer
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    Case 6: from multiple myeloma
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  • Case 8: mets ? primary
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  • Case 9: lung cancer metastasis
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  • Case 10: lung cancer metastasis
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  • Case 11: from lung cancer metastasis
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  • Case 12: through unicameral bone cyst
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  • Case 13: dedifferentiated chondrosarcoma
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  • Case 14: from a unicameral bone cyst
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  • Case 15: in rickets
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  • Case 16: with fibrous dysplasia
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  • Case 17: from RCC
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  • Case 18: from Paget disease
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  • Case 19: from osteosarcoma
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