Distance of translation as a predictor of failure of fixation in paediatric supracondylar fractures

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This study investigates the influence of incomplete reduction of supracondylar fractures on the incidence of loss of reduction requiring reoperation


A review of 107 consecutive patients presenting with supracondylar fractures treated with closed reduction and Kirschner wire stabilisation, between January 2011 and March 2013, was conducted. The mean age was 5 years (range 10 months to 12 years). Pre-, intra- and postoperative radiographs were reviewed. All patients who had failure of fixation requiring revision surgery were identified.


Ninety-nine patients had an initial adequate radiographic reduction. Of these, one (1%) required revision surgery. Eight patients had an initial incomplete radiographic reduction and, of these, six (75%) required revision surgery (P < 0.0001).


Supracondylar fractures treated with closed reduction and K wire stabilisation require adequate intraoperative reduction. Incomplete reduction should not be accepted, as despite the bones potential to remodel, the risk of further loss of reduction is high, requiring reoperation.

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