Previous studies have showed the efficacy of removable brace treatment for distal radius buckle fractures in children, whereas others have independently suggested that these injuries do not require additional radiographic imaging. However, no study has sought to collectively determine whether treating pediatric distal radius buckle fractures with a removable brace and no follow-up visit or imaging after the initial visit is a safe and satisfactory protocol.
In total, 42 consecutive patients with a distal forearm buckle fracture seen by a single fellowship trained pediatric orthopaedic surgeon were eligible to participate. Two patients refused participation, yielding 40 patients treated with a standard protocol of immobilization with a removable wrist brace for a prescribed period of time with no additional imaging or clinical follow-up. Two staggered telephone surveys were then conducted. The first survey was conducted within 1 week of the designated brace-removal date to determine the exact date the brace was discontinued. The second survey was conducted 5 to10 months postinjury to determine patient outcomes and parent satisfaction.
In total, 100% of patients were reached for the initial survey and 90% (36/40) of patients were reached for the secondary survey. There were no complications, including refracture or residual pain, following treatment. In total, 100% of parents felt their child had returned to full and normal function and all said they would choose to have the same treatment again. In total, 67% of parents would have had to take time off from work and 77% of children would have missed school if they had hypothetically been required to attend a follow-up appointment.
Treatment of pediatric distal forearm buckle fractures with a removable wrist brace and no follow-up visit or radiographs results in both excellent patient outcomes and parental satisfaction.
Level of Evidence:
Level IV—case series.