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Emergency Medical Minute


Jan 19, 2021

Contributor: Jared Scott, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Pathologic bone fractures occur due to weakened bones from chronic disease and with less force when compared to non-pathologic fractures
  • Can be due to bone tumors, bone cysts, infections (osteomyelitis), osteogenesis imperfecta, Paget's disease of bone, and multiple myeloma
  • Have moth bitten or lytic appearance and you can sometimes see the periosteum peeling away from the bone


Angelini A, Trovarelli G, Berizzi A, Pala E, Breda A, Maraldi M, Ruggieri P. Treatment of pathologic fractures of the proximal femur. Injury. 2018 Nov;49 Suppl 3:S77-S83. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2018.09.044. PMID: 30415673.

Marshall RA, Mandell JC, Weaver MJ, Ferrone M, Sodickson A, Khurana B. Imaging Features and Management of Stress, Atypical, and Pathologic Fractures. Radiographics. 2018 Nov-Dec;38(7):2173-2192. doi: 10.1148/rg.2018180073. PMID: 30422769.



Summarized by Jackson Roos, MS4 | Edited by Erik Verzemnieks, MD

The Emergency Medical Minute is excited to announce that we are now offering AMA PRA Category 1 credits™ via online course modules. To access these and for more information, visit our website at and create an account.