Nonoperative Management Of Pediatric Upper Extremity Fractures Or ‘Don’t Throw Away The Cast’

Wilkins KE.. Article. Techniques in Orthopaedics. 2005. 20(2):115–141.


Summary: With the exception of fractures involving the distal humerus, almost all fractures of the upper extremity can be successfully treated by noninvasive methods. The surgeon treating upper extremity fractures in children in areas of developing nations where the medical and surgical resources are limited should have a good knowledge of the nonoperative techniques available. He or she should also be skilled in administering local and regional anesthesia. Fortunately, in the pediatric age group, there is a considerable remodeling potential. This fact determines the adequacy of the best reduction that can be obtained by nonoperative methods. Knowledge of the limits of satisfactory remodeling for the various fracture patterns is also essential. Anyone treating fractures in these areas needs to be flexible with their approach and innovative in their methods. Although these fractures often present challenges for the treating physician, they can provide a great deal of satisfaction when they are conquered and the patient’s fracture treatment has a successful outcome. The specific techniques for the nonoperative management of upper extremity fractures in the pediatric patient are discussed in detail. It must be emphasized, however, that the treating surgeon should both teach and perform procedures to achieve as satisfactory a reduction as possible within the resources of the local area.

Key Words: Fractures—Nonoperative—Conservative—Casts.

An article originally published in the June 2005 edition of Techniques In Orthopaedics (Volume 20, Number 2). Licensed and reprinted with the permission of Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.


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Russian translation by Nataliia Moskalenko.

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