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Fixation of Type 2a Supracondylar Humerus Fractures in Children With a Single Pin

Kish, Alexander J. BS; Hennrikus, William L. MD

Journal of Pediatric Orthopaedics: December 2014 - Volume 34 - Issue 8 - p e54–e57
doi: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000000247

Background: The AAOS guidelines suggest operative fixation of all type 2 supracondylar humerus fractures. Not all type 2 fractures are the same. Wilkins type 2a fractures have intrinsic stability. The purpose of this paper is to report closed reduction and single-pin fixations for Wilkins 2a fractures.

Methods: Fifteen consecutive type 2a fractures treated with single-pin fixation were prospectively evaluated. Procedure notes, age, sex, side involved, duration of immobilization, and complications were recorded. Radiographs were measured for the lateral humerocapitellar line and the humeral ulna angle. At final follow-up the carrying angle, range of motion, and the Flynn criteria were recorded.

Results: The average age of patients was 5 years (age range, 1 to 9 y). Three females and 12 males were studied. Eight right elbows and 7 left elbows were injured. A 0.0625 K-wire was used in 2 cases and a 2 mm K-wire was used in 13 cases. On preoperative lateral radiographs, the anterior humeral line did not intersect the capitellum. On postoperative radiographs, the anterior humeral line intersected the middle third of the capitellum. Following pinning, the elbow was immobilized in a long-arm cast in pronation with elbow at 75 degrees of flexion. The cast and pin were removed at an average of 27 days (range, 25 to 31 d). One patient was lost to follow-up. The remaining 14 patients were followed for at least 3 months. At final follow-up, the carrying angle was within 2 degrees of the opposite elbow and ROM was within 3 degrees of the opposite elbow in all cases. Final Flynn criteria were excellent in all 14 patients. There were no complications.

Conclusions: Treatment of supracondylar fractures has evolved from selective pinning of type 2 fractures to pinning all type 2 fractures. The results of the current study demonstrate the efficacy of using a single lateral entry pin for stabilization of type 2a fractures in children.

Level of Evidence: Level III.

Department of Orthopaedics, Penn State College of Medicine, Hershey, PA

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: William L. Hennrikus MD, Department of Orthopaedics, Penn State College of Medicine, 30 Hope Drive, Hershey, PA 17033. E-mail:

© 2014 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins