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Battered granny or spontaneous fractures? A legal dilemma.
  1. V. Connolly,
  2. A. A. McConnell,
  3. G. McGarrity
  1. Middlesbrough General Hospital, Cleveland, UK.


    A 70-year-old woman was admitted from a local nursing home with extensive bruising and bilateral hip discomfort. The referring doctor had reported the possibility of elder abuse to the police. Full examination showed that osteomalacia, precipitated by a poor diet and lack of exposure to sunlight, was sufficient to explain the patient's condition. Caution is recommended in diagnosing elder abuse until other possibilities have been excluded.

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