Background: Displaced radial neck fractures in children are challenging to treat. The age of the patient and the degree of angulation are the main criteria to consider when managing these fractures in children. Various surgical techniques have been described in the literature for both indirect and direct reduction and for fixation. However, the best treatment is still debated. Case presentation: The case presented is of a 6-year-old Caucasian boy with an impacted and displaced radial neck fracture. With the patient in lateral position, under general anesthesia, elbow arthroscopy was performed to better visualize the articular surface and to assist with reduction and fixation. The fracture was reduced and fixed with a single K-wire under direct arthroscopic visualization. No associated lesions were found. An above-elbow cast was applied after surgery. The cast and K-wire were removed 3 weeks later. At the 3-month follow-up, the patient showed a full recovery with complete range of movement without any postoperative and radiographic complications. Conclusion: Traditionally, surgery for displaced radial neck fractures in children is performed by closed reduction with percutaneous pinning or elastic intramedullary nail fixation under fluoroscopic guidance. Direct visualization of the articular surface via an open approach allows better reduction in complex fracture patterns but is related to a higher risk of complications: elbow stiffness, instability, or avascular necrosis. Elbow arthroscopy in children could be a valid alternative to open fixation surgery for displaced radial neck fractures without the complications associated with articular exposure, allowing the direct visualization of the fracture and reducing radiation exposure. Although technically demanding, we believe elbow arthroscopy should be considered an alternative option because it is effective in assisting reduction and fixation and enables the detection of associated joint lesions.

Arthroscopically-assisted reduction and pinning of a radial neck fracture in a child: A case report and review of the literature

Padovani S.
Secondo
;
Caruso G.
;
Massari L.
Ultimo
2020

Abstract

Background: Displaced radial neck fractures in children are challenging to treat. The age of the patient and the degree of angulation are the main criteria to consider when managing these fractures in children. Various surgical techniques have been described in the literature for both indirect and direct reduction and for fixation. However, the best treatment is still debated. Case presentation: The case presented is of a 6-year-old Caucasian boy with an impacted and displaced radial neck fracture. With the patient in lateral position, under general anesthesia, elbow arthroscopy was performed to better visualize the articular surface and to assist with reduction and fixation. The fracture was reduced and fixed with a single K-wire under direct arthroscopic visualization. No associated lesions were found. An above-elbow cast was applied after surgery. The cast and K-wire were removed 3 weeks later. At the 3-month follow-up, the patient showed a full recovery with complete range of movement without any postoperative and radiographic complications. Conclusion: Traditionally, surgery for displaced radial neck fractures in children is performed by closed reduction with percutaneous pinning or elastic intramedullary nail fixation under fluoroscopic guidance. Direct visualization of the articular surface via an open approach allows better reduction in complex fracture patterns but is related to a higher risk of complications: elbow stiffness, instability, or avascular necrosis. Elbow arthroscopy in children could be a valid alternative to open fixation surgery for displaced radial neck fractures without the complications associated with articular exposure, allowing the direct visualization of the fracture and reducing radiation exposure. Although technically demanding, we believe elbow arthroscopy should be considered an alternative option because it is effective in assisting reduction and fixation and enables the detection of associated joint lesions.
Colozza, A.; Padovani, S.; Caruso, G.; Cavaciocchi, M.; Massari, L.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11392/2422315
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