Testing & Diagnosis for Broken Femur (Thigh Bone) in Children

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Contact the Lower Extremity Program

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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:           


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 painless  procedure that uses a radioactive substance to detect changes in joints and bones and determine the cause of unexplained pain

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944