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Open fractures of the forearm in children

Open fractures of the forearm in children

Journal of Orthopaedic Trauma 15(2): 111-118

To describe the epidemiology, early results of treatment, and complications associated with open fractures of the forearm in children. Retrospective review of patients treated according to protocol. Level I trauma center. All children with an open fracture of the forearm during a four-year period (n = 76). Fourteen patients were excluded because of inadequate follow-up or incomplete medical records. All fractures were treated with irrigation and debridement, and parenteral antibiotics. Twenty-five patients were managed with cast immobilization only, and the remaining thirty-seven, with internal fixation either with transcutaneous pins, intramedullary pins, or plates and screws, followed by immobilization in a cast. Time to union, angular alignment at union, and incidence of complications. The average time to union was 8.9 weeks (median, eight weeks; range, 6 to 17 weeks). There were no nonunions, but three of the sixty-two fractures had delayed union. Eight of the sixty-two fractures healed with an angular deformity of more than 10 degrees, and two developed infections, one deep and one superficial. There were three preoperative and four postoperative nerve palsies, which all resolved spontaneously. Open fractures of the forearm in children, treated with prompt administration of parenteral antibiotics followed by debridement, were associated with a fairly low incidence of complications. Although we found that the use of some form of internal fixation tended to reduce both the need to remanipulate these fractures (p = 0.08), and to minimize the incidence of angular deformity greater than 10 degrees (p = 0.16), these findings did not reach statistical significance.

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Accession: 046866898

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11232649

DOI: 10.1097/00005131-200102000-00007

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