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J Pediatr Orthop B. 2016 Jan;25(1):69-73. doi: 10.1097/BPB.0000000000000226.

Buried versus unburied Kirschner wires in the management of paediatric lateral condyle elbow fractures: a comparative study from a tertiary centre.

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Alder Hey Children's Hospital, Liverpool, UK.


There is little consensus on whether Kirschner wire (K-wire) burial is preferable in the management of paediatric lateral humeral condyle fractures. We identified 124 patients from May 2008 to August 2014. Sixty received buried K-wires and 64 received unburied wires. We found no significant difference in the infection rates between groups, but a high rate of skin erosion (23%) in the buried group, with a subsequent high rate of infection in this subgroup (40%). We found a strong association of wire erosion following early surgery. There is a considerable cost saving associated with using unburied wires. We therefore recommend the routine use of unburied wires.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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