Capitellar Fractures—Is Open Reduction and Internal Fixation Necessary?

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Abstract

Objective:

The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the medium-term to longer-term results of type 1 displaced capitellar fractures treated with closed reduction.

Design:

Retrospective case series.

Patients:

Eight consecutive cases (7 adults; 1 child) with type 1 capitellar fractures.

Intervention:

Closed reduction of type 1 capitellar fractures and 4 weeks of postreduction immobilization.

Outcome Measures:

Complications (including radiographic), Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Score, and active elbow range of motion.

Results:

Average follow-up was 41.6 months (range, 18–77 months). All 8 fractures were united. The patients obtained near full return of the range of motion when compared with the uninjured contralateral side. Mean average Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand Score scores were 4.36 (SD, 2.68; Range, 0–9). No complications were observed.

Conclusions:

This study demonstrated that type 1 capitellar fractures can be treated successfully with closed reduction and cast immobilization.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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