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J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 1997 Jan;5(1):19-26.

Supracondylar Fractures of the Humerus in Children.

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Surgery, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and Pediatric Orthopaedic Service, UCSF Medical Center.


The treatment of type II and type III supracondylar fractures of the humerus in children with closed reduction and percutaneous pinning has dramatically lowered the rate of complications from this injury. The incidence rates of malunion (cubitus varus) and compartment syndrome have both decreased. Nerve injury accompanying this type of fracture (prevalence, 5% to 19%) is usually a neurapraxia, which should be managed conservatively. Vascular insufficiency at presentation (prevalence, 5% to 17%) should be managed initially by rapid closed reduction and pinning without arteriography. Persistent vascular insufficiency necessitates exploration and vascular reconstruction.

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