Forearm series (pediatrics)

Amanda Er et al.

The forearm series for pediatrics comprises an anteroposterior and lateral projection. These projections examine the entire radius and ulna including the distal and proximal articulations.

Forearm x-rays are indicated for a variety of settings including:

  • trauma
  • bony tenderness
  • suspected fracture
  • obvious deformity
  • suspected foreign body
  • infection

Where patients are in considerable amount of pain, these two projections may replace the standard projections instead to obtain diagnostic images of the radius and ulna whilst requiring little to no patient movement.

Patients should remove any jewelry or clothing over the arm to avoid artifact

The use of gonadal and fetal shielding has been deemed as non-beneficial to patients' health in current evidences 1-3 and should not be used during plain film imaging on pediatric patients. Shielding can obscure anatomical regions of interest, resulting in a repeated examination or compromised diagnosis.

The major difficulty in pediatric radiography relates to:

To overcome this, a variety of techniques can be used 4:

  • distract the patient with toys, games and/or conversation
  • using the swaddling technique; wrap the child in a blanket to promote comfort and sleep
  • have the child sit on the carer's lap to ensure they are comfortable

Children will find it difficult to keep their arm still; particularly if the limb is injured. If an immobilization splint has not been provided to the patient, one option is to have a carer or radiographer hold the child's arm at their hand and proximal arm to prevent movement of the forearm. 

Article information

rID: 75693
Section: Radiography
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Forearm series (paediatrics)
  • Forearm series (paediatrics) radiograph

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.