Pediatric supracondylar fractures and pediatric physeal elbow fractures

Orthop Clin North Am. 2008 Apr;39(2):163-71, v. doi: 10.1016/j.ocl.2007.12.005.


Elbow fractures in children are extremely common, making up approximately 15% of all fractures in pediatric patients. The unique radiographic anatomy of the pediatric elbow, along with the potential for neurovascular compromise, often provokes anxiety in orthopedic surgeons. A thorough understanding of the anatomy and treatment principles makes the care for these children more straightforward, however. The distal humerus makes up approximately 85% of all elbow fractures in children. The most common fractures of the distal humerus in children are supracondylar humerus fractures, lateral condyle fractures, medial epicondyle fractures, and transphyseal humerus fractures. Each of these fractures is discussed in detail, outlining their radiographic features, principles of treatment, and potential complications.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Elbow Injuries*
  • Epiphyses
  • Fracture Fixation
  • Humans
  • Humeral Fractures / diagnosis*
  • Humeral Fractures / etiology
  • Humeral Fractures / therapy*
  • Traction