Z Orthop Unfall
DOI: 10.1055/a-0862-0987
Original Article/Originalarbeit
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Frequency of Secondary Dislocations of Initially non Displaced and Minimally Displaced Fractures of the Lateral Humeral Condyle in Children – Surveillance of a Treatment Algorithm

Article in several languages: English | deutsch
Simeon Janzen
1  Zentrum für Endoprothetik, Fußchirurgie, Kinder- und Allgemeine Orthopädie, Roland-Klinik am Werdersee, Bremen
2  Orthopädische Klinik, Klinikum Stuttgart, Olgahospital
,
Thekla von Kalle
3  Radiologisches Institut, Klinikum Stuttgart, Olgahospital
,
Thomas Wirth
2  Orthopädische Klinik, Klinikum Stuttgart, Olgahospital
,
Francisco Fernandez Fernandez
2  Orthopädische Klinik, Klinikum Stuttgart, Olgahospital
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
22 May 2019 (eFirst)

Abstract

Aim of the Study The treatment of undisplaced fractures of the lateral humeral condyle is conservative. However, it is problematic that it is not possible to differentiate between a stable and an unstable, non-displaced fracture. A pragmatic approach is to X-ray the elbow without a cast 5 days after trauma and to compare those images with the initial ones. If there is a central increase of dislocation, then there is an indication of an unstable fracture. The dislocation can also be indicated by a translational movement, which is best observed in the border area. The aim of the study was to retrospectively determine the incidence of secondary dislocations of initially undisplaced and minimally dislocated fractures of the lateral humeral condyle in infants between 2010 and 2015.

Methods We performed a retrospective, non-randomized analysis of 75 children with initially undisplaced and minimally displaced fractures of the lateral humeral condyle between 2010 and 2015. The strategy for the evaluation of a stable and an unstable fracture of the lateral humeral condyle was carried out by means of an X-ray without a cast 5 days after trauma. Further radiological controls were performed after 14 days, 4 weeks and after 10 to 12 weeks in operated children.

Results Seven initially undisplaced and minimally dislocated fractures (9,3%) showed a secondary dislocation 5 days after trauma when a radiological control without a cast was performed. At the control 14 days after trauma there was no further secondary dislocation. The immobilization took place in an upper arm cast for a period of 4 weeks.

Conclusion 90% of all non-dislocated fractures of the lateral humeral condyle can be treated conservatively. It is important to find out which about 10% of children will experience a secondary dislocation safely and effectively. It has been shown that the strategy for the evaluation of a stable and an unstable fracture of the lateral humeral condyle by means of a radiological control after 5 days without a cast can be effective and cost-saving. With a high degree of certainty, the unstable fracture can be detected at the radiological control 5 days after trauma. If, after 5 days, the radiological control reveals unsure finding regarding the dislocation, it is advisable to recheck the fracture in the second radiological control after 14 days.