Arthroscopic Treatment of Pediatric Fractures

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Abstract

Management of pediatric articular fractures has evolved over the years with a growing interest in arthroscopic handling. Several factors account for this recent appeal among which are progress in technology with increased availability of diagnostic methods, rise in athletic activities responsible for these fractures, and pediatric orthopaedic surgeons getting familiar with arthroscopic techniques. In our institution, 9 of 100 arthroscopic procedures are performed as a consequence of an articular fracture. In total, 80% of the fractures concern the knee (56% of tibial eminence fracture, 24% osteochondral fracture). Most of the remaining 20% are located at the ankle joint. Given the thorough articular exploration that arthroscopy provides, any associated cartilaginous or meniscal lesions is identified and addressed in the same procedure as the fracture fixation. Being a less invasive surgery with low complication rate, arthroscopic management of pediatric articular fractures provides very satisfactory results with earlier recovery. Of note, it is technically demanding and requires constant training. The operative time should be monitored and alternative options considered for each surgery. In this regard, arthroscopy has to be viewed as a means not an end.

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