Functional outcome of displaced radial head fractures in children treated by elastic stable intramedullary nailing

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Abstract

The objectives of this study were to retrospectively investigate the clinical and radiological outcomes of displaced radial head fractures in children treated by elastic stable intramedullary nailing (ESIN) and evaluate the functional outcome of these injuries using the short version of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand outcome questionnaire (Quick DASH). A total of 24 patients (nine males and 15 females) fulfilled the inclusion criteria. The mean age at the time of injury was 10.7±2.8 years (range: 9.5–16.33 years). Before surgery, the mean angulation was 53.8°±18.4° (range: 28°–82°) differentiating fractures on the basis of Judet’s classification. The mean Quick DASH score was a good 4 (range: 0–15.9). Functional outcomes were similar irrespective of the severity of fracture displacement (P>0.05), presence or absence of associated fracture (P>0.05), and time immobilized (P>0.05). The Quick DASH score was better in children younger than 9 years of age (1.62) than children older than 9 years of age (4.95), but without a statistically significant difference (P=0.058). Children with displaced radial head fractures treated with ESIN showed good functional outcomes. Associated fracture injuries were not a predictive factor of functional outcome. Open reduction must be avoided as it carries an increased risk of complications.

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