Looser zones

Looser zones, also known as cortical infractionsMilkman lines or pseudofractures, are wide, transverse lucencies traversing part way through a bone, usually at right angles to the involved cortex and are associated most frequently with osteomalacia and rickets. The term pseudofracture is a misnomer, as they are considered a type of insufficiency fracture. Typically, the fractures have sclerotic irregular margins and are often symmetrical. 


  • pubic rami
  • medial proximal femur
  • lateral scapula
  • posterior proximal ulna
  • ribs

History and etymology

Looser zones are named after Emil Looser, a Swiss surgeon, working in Zurich (1877-1936) 3.

Louis Arthur Milkman (1895-1951) was an American radiologist who described the findings in seminal papers in 1930 and 1934 2,3.

Share article

Article information

rID: 5666
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Milkman pseudofracture
  • Milkman's pseudofracture
  • Milkman's pseudofractures
  • Milkman pseudofractures
  • Milkman lines
  • Milkman line
  • Pseudofracture
  • Pseudofractures
  • Looser's zones
  • Looser zones
  • Looser's lines
  • Looser zone
  • Loosers line
  • Loosers lines
  • Loosers zone
  • Loosers zones
  • Osteoid seam
  • Cortical infractions
  • Milkman syndrome
  • Milkman's syndrome

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1
    Drag here to reorder.
  •  Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  •  Case 3
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

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

     Thank you for updating your details.