A review was conducted of the records of fifty-five children who were admitted to the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto between 1955 and 1975 with a diagnosis of Volkmann's contracture in fifty-eight limbs. Ten patients had been transferred to this hospital with established ischaemia after Bryant's traction for a fractured femur; all had a very poor outcome. Thirteen other cases of Volkmann's contracture affecting the superficial posterior compartment had been treated with a fixed Thomas' splint and a Bradford frame after fractures of the femoral shaft. Supracondylar fractures of the elbow resulting in Volkmann's contracture frequently had both an arterial injury and a compartment syndrome. Most of the fifty-five children reviewed here had not had early appropriate treatment. For the past twenty-one years the frequency of Volkmann's contracture has not declined in spite of many published reports on the compartment syndrome, and the hazards of supracondylar fractures and of Bryant's traction.