Risk of infection and secondary displacement in pediatric supracondylar or lateral condyle fractures treated with unburied Kirchener-wires removed before complete bone healing
This study evaluated the risk of infection and of secondary displacement among children with displaced lateral condyle or supracondylar fractures treated by surgery. The study included a consecutive sample of 84 supracondylar fractures and 21 lateral condyle fractures treated with closed reduction and percutaneous pinning. The mean time to Kirchener wire removal was 29 days (range: 25–37 days) postsurgery. Two out of 105 (1.9%) patients developed infectious complications and two of 105 (1.9%) patients had a secondary displacement. Removal of unburied Kirchener wires before complete bone healing in the physician’s office does not increase risk of infection or the risk of secondary displacement. The protocol does, however, enable significant savings and eliminates the need for additional anaesthetic.