Malunited forearm fractures in children

J Pediatr Orthop. Nov-Dec 1990;10(6):705-12. doi: 10.1097/01241398-199011000-00001.


From 1971 to 1986, 80 skeletally immature patients with severe diaphyseal both-bone forearm fractures were treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center. Greenstick, Monteggia, and Galeazzi fractures were excluded. Seventy-nine fractures were managed by closed means. When anatomic reduction could not be obtained, the best position was accepted. There were 47 patients with malunions of whom 39 returned for follow-up evaluation greater than 2 years after injury. They form the basis of this study. There were no delayed unions or nonunions in the entire group. Average follow-up in the group reported was 5 years 9 months (range 2 years to 13 years 10 months). All patients were satisfied with their functional and cosmetic results regardless of age, angulation, complete displacement, or loss of radial bow at time of union. Only nine patients had loss of motion. By our criteria, 36 patients (92%) had good or excellent results, with 32 excellent and four good results. Three patients (8%) had fair results, and there were no poor results. Age at time of injury did not correlate with recovery of motion. Distal fractures were found to have a better prognosis than proximal fractures. Based on the results of this study, closed reduction is the treatment of choice for skeletally immature patients with diaphyseal fractures of the radius and ulna.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fractures, Closed / physiopathology
  • Fractures, Closed / psychology
  • Fractures, Closed / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Orthopedic*
  • Prognosis
  • Pronation
  • Radius Fractures / complications
  • Radius Fractures / physiopathology
  • Radius Fractures / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Supination
  • Ulna Fractures / complications
  • Ulna Fractures / physiopathology
  • Ulna Fractures / therapy*