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J Child Orthop. 2009 Aug;3(4):331-6. doi: 10.1007/s11832-009-0185-6. Epub 2009 Jun 9.

Open reduction of medial epicondyle fractures: operative tips for technical ease.

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Rady Children's Hospital, UCSD, 3020 Children's Way, San Diego, CA, 92123, USA.


In the pediatric population, medial humeral epicondylar fractures account for nearly 12% of all elbow fractures. There is ongoing debate about the surgical management of medial epicondyle fracture cases. Our technique in the operative management of medial epicondyle fractures uses the external application of an Esmarch bandage, as well as provisional fixation with needle rather than K-wire fixation. This technique decreases the need for soft-tissue release and, therefore, theoretically, maintains soft-tissue vascularity of the small fracture fragments. Moreover, it preserves the soft-tissue tension medially. It involves the use of a bandage that is universally available in orthopedic operating rooms, including those in developing nations. It is easy to apply by either the principal or assisting surgeon. With practice, it cuts down operative time and can help substitute for an assistant. This relatively simple operative technique makes for a more seamless operative process, improved reduction, and key preservation of soft-tissue vascularity.

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