Open Journal of Orthopedics

Volume 6, Issue 5 (May 2016)

ISSN Print: 2164-3008   ISSN Online: 2164-3016

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Assessment of the Outcome of Anterior versus Posterior Approach in the Management of Displaced Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fracture

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DOI: 10.4236/ojo.2016.65017    1,773 Downloads   3,100 Views   Citations


Background: Supracondylar fractures of the humerus are among the most common type of pediatric fractures. The outcome of severely displaced supracondylar fracture of the humerus in children subjected to wide controversies in term of safety, functional and cosmetic outcome. Closed reduction and percutaneous pinning is now considered as the gold standard rule, but open reduction still applicable in certain cases where intraoperative imaging is not available, in comminuted lateral column fractures and uneducable fractures. Aim of the Study: To compare the outcome (functional and cosmetic) of anterior (Henry) approach with the posterior (Campbell) approach used in two groups of patients’ sustained displaced supracondylar fractures. Patients and Methods: This prospective study was performed on 48 pediatric patients who were been admitted to the Emergency Hospital in Sulaimani province sustained displaced supracondylar humeral fractures and treated during the period from the first of October 2009 to the thirty-one of January 2011. The study included 28 boys, 20 girls; their mean age was 7.5 years; their ages range 2 - 13 years. We used the modified Gartland classification to assess the fractures displacement and only Gartland type II B and III were included and managed operatively by open reduction and internal fixation with 2 crossed K-wires. Follow up continued for 6 months and the results finally assessed using Flynn’s criteria. Results: According to the criteria of Flynn et al., 20 patients (83.3%) treated by the anterior approach had excellent functional results while 4 patients (16.7%) had good functional results. While those treated by the posterior approach, 16 patients (66.6%) had excellent functional results, 6 patients (25%) had good results and 2 (8.3%) patients had fair outcome. Cosmetic results were excellent in 22 patients in the anterior approach group and 20 patients in the posterior approach group. Conclusion: Posterior Campbell approach is simpler than anterior Henry approach, but it creates additional soft tissue damage that can affect the circulatory status and hence possible osteonecrosis of the trochlea and a higher percentage of limitation in joint mobility. While the anterior approach is technically more demanding, but it gives better functional results.

Cite this paper

Fatah, R. , Amin, B. , Mahmud, H. and Yusif, A. (2016) Assessment of the Outcome of Anterior versus Posterior Approach in the Management of Displaced Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fracture. Open Journal of Orthopedics, 6, 113-119. doi: 10.4236/ojo.2016.65017.

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