Skip Navigation LinksHome > July/August 2007 - Volume 27 - Issue 5 > Operative Management of Displaced Flexion Supracondylar Hume...
Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics:
doi: 10.1097/01.bpb.0000279032.04892.6c
Trauma: Original Article

Operative Management of Displaced Flexion Supracondylar Humerus Fractures in Children

Mahan, Susan T. MD, MPH*†; May, Craig D.†; Kocher, Mininder S. MD, MPH‡

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Abstract

Flexion-type supracondylar humerus fractures remain an uncommon variant of the common extension-type injury. They are often thought to be more difficult injuries, more probable to require open reduction, and have neurovascular complications. We reviewed the 10-year history of flexion-type supracondylar elbow fractures treated at 1 institution and compared these cases with those of an extension-type cohort collected during a similar period. The patients in the flexion-type group (mean age, 7.5 years) were significantly older than those in the extension-type group (mean age, 5.8 years). The fractures in flexion-type group were also more probable to require open reduction (31%) than those in the extension-type group (10%). There was no difference in the incidence of preoperative nerve symptoms; however, the flexion-type group had a significantly increased incidence rate of ulnar nerve symptoms (19% vs 3% in the extension-type group) and need for ulnar nerve decompression. The flexion-type variant should be recognized preoperatively, and the potential pitfalls involved with the treatment of these injuries appreciated.

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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