Indications for use of radiographs  
 

BONES

This radiograph of the right shoulder is an example of an acute fracture in a child.

The arrows point to the fracture line. On the medial side, it is easy to see the disruption of the medial cortex of the bone.

The fracture line itself is more lucent than the adjacent bone, with the space between the bone fragments filled with blood and soft tissues, which are less dense than bone.

The clue that this is a child is the visible growth plate, which appears as a smooth, undulating lucent line separating the epiphysis from the metaphysis.

Disturbances in bone growth, including premature fusion of the growth plate, or abnormal widening of it, can be detected with radiographs. X-ray evaluation of the bony structures and growth plates of the hand are used to determine bone age.