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We have reviewed, at an average of 7 years, 14 children with flexion supracondylar fractures of the humerus. These fractures accounted for 6 per cent of the 288 displaced supracondylar fractures treated from 1981 to 1985. A total of 12 patients had typical fractures that were treated by manipulation and immobilization in an extension cast. Two patients had atypical fractures with anterior displacement and posterior angulation of the distal fragment; they were treated by manipulation, but were more stable when immobilized with the elbow flexed with strapping and collar and cuff support. Overall, excellent or good results were achieved in 10 cases and poor results in four cases. Of the poor results, two were due to cubitus varus. These children were the only ones under 2 years of age, and in each the deformity was due to the persistence of an abnormally large Baumann angle. Plaster immobilization was inadequate at this stage. The other two poor results were due to mild stiffness of the elbow.
For typical fractures, we conclude that excellent results can be expected in most children over the age of 2 years when treated with manipulation and immobilization in extension for 3 weeks. For the rarer atypical fractures, we conclude that excellent results can be expected after manipulation and immobilization in flexion for 3 weeks.
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Accepted: March 28, 1991
© 1991 Published by Elsevier Inc.