The purpose of this study was to determine the clinical features, type and severity of musculoskeletal injuries in paediatric age groups in comparison with adult victims of the Marmara earthquake, which occurred on 17 August 1999. Of 151 injured patients hospitalized due to musculoskeletal trauma, 31 (20.5%) were under 16 years of age. The most important problems in the patients were extremity trauma, crush syndrome, acute renal failure and other ensuing medical complications. Five (18.5%) out of 27 children with crush syndrome required haemodialysis because of acute renal failure and three (11.1%) required amputation. Haemodialysis was needed in 54 (93.1%) of 58 adult patients with crush syndrome; amputation was necessary in 12 (20.7%) of them. Although the types of injuries resulting from the earthquake were similar in adults and children, the orthopaeclic consequences of these injuries showed significant differences, especially in the rates of crush syndrome leading to acute renal failure and amputation. (C) 2003 Lippincott Williams Wilkins.