Supracondylar humeral fractures in children: current concepts for management and prognosis

Jaime Zorrilla S. de Neira, Alfonso Prada-Cañizares, Rafael Marti-Ciruelos, Juan Pretell-Mazzini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Supracondylar humeral fractures are the most common elbow fractures in children and represent 3 % of all paediatric fractures. The most common cause is a fall onto an outstretched hand with the elbow in extension, resulting in an extension-type fracture (97–99 % of cases). Currently, the Gartland classification is used, which has treatment implications. Diagnosis is based on plain radiographs, but accurate imaging could be limited due to patient pain. Based on fracture type, the definitive treatment could be either non-operative (type I) or operative (type III/IV); however, when handling type II fractures controversy remains. Neither pin configuration have shown higher efficacy over the other. Complications are ~1 %, the most common being pin migration, with compartment syndrome as the most devastating. Overall, functional outcomes are good, and physical therapy does not appear to be necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2287-2296
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Orthopaedics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015


  • Anterior humeral line
  • Baumann angle
  • Compartment syndrome
  • Infection
  • Pin configuration
  • Pin migration
  • Supracondylar humeral fractures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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