Microsurgical reconstruction of brachial artery injuries in displaced supracondylar fracture humerus in children

Microsurgery. 2006;26(7):498-505. doi: 10.1002/micr.20277.


Between March 2000 and March 2005, 840 children with grade III supracondylar humeral fractures presented for treatment, consecutively at our hospital. One hundred twenty had absent or diminished (detected by Doppler but not palpable) radial pulse on initial examination. Eighty-nine of these 120 children recovered pulse (palpable) after closed reduction and percutaneous pinning of the fracture. The remaining 31 children had persistent absent radial pulse. Twenty-two of the 31 children had median nerve signs. Each of these 31 children was explored. The intraoperative findings were intact median nerve in all cases (neuropraxia), traumatic aneurysm with thrombus formation in 17 cases, complete injury of the brachial artery in 8 cases (loss of continuity), thrombosis in 3 cases, partial tear in 2 cases, and brachial artery entrapment in the fracture site in 1 case. Microsurgical reconstruction of the 31 brachial arteries was done as the following: reversed vein graft for 8 cases, excision and repair in 17 cases, partial repair in 2 cases, thrombectomy in 3 cases, and release of the brachial artery from the fracture site in 1 case. The average follow up was 26 months range (6-60) months. All children had excellent to good functional and cosmetic outcome except one who had Volkman's ischemic contracture, treated later by free functioning gracilis muscle transfer.

MeSH terms

  • Brachial Artery / injuries*
  • Brachial Artery / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Humeral Fractures / complications*
  • Male
  • Microsurgery*
  • Vascular Surgical Procedures / methods