The management of forearm fractures in children: a plea for conservatism

J Pediatr Orthop. Nov-Dec 1999;19(6):811-5.

Abstract

A retrospective review was undertaken to evaluate the efficacy of primary nonoperative treatment (closed reduction and long-arm casting) along with pins and plaster as a salvage technique for those reduction failures. A total of 730 closed fractures (1987-1993) was compiled, of which 300 required closed reductions and casting. Excluded from the study were teenagers whose growth plates were closed. Of the 300 fractures requiring closed reductions, 22 went on to require remanipulations, and 12 required the use of pins-and-plaster technique to obtain or maintain satisfactory reduction. Complications in the group treated in this manner included two superficial pin infections treated with antibiotics and two forearms with moderate loss of pronation/supination not requiring treatment. We believe that closed reduction of pediatric forearm fractures remains the accepted standard and the technique of pins and plaster should be considered a reliable alternative for the unstable injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Casts, Surgical
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Forearm Injuries / diagnostic imaging
  • Forearm Injuries / therapy*
  • Fracture Fixation / methods*
  • Fracture Healing / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Orthopedic / methods
  • Radiography
  • Radius Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Radius Fractures / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ulna Fractures / diagnostic imaging
  • Ulna Fractures / therapy*