The use of a transolecranon pin joystick technique in the treatment of multidirectionally unstable supracondylar humeral fractures in children

Yi-Shan Wei, Wan-Lin Liu, Rui Bai, Dai-He Li, Zhen-Qun Zhao, Yong Wang, Liang Sun, Chao Sun, Mu-Han Na
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics. Part B 2020, 29 (5): 452-457
Multidirectionally unstable supracondylar humeral fractures cause severe instability in both flexion and extension movements. The traditional closed reduction often fails to overcome this lack of stability. The aim of this study is to use a closed reduction technique with a transolecranon pin to achieve temporary stability. From 35 pediatric multidirectionally unstable supracondylar humeral fractures hospitalized between March 2012 and March 2018 at our hospital, 23 fractures (65.7%) were treated with closed reduction and percutaneous pinning (CRPP) (group 1) and the remaining twelve fractures (34.3%) were treated utilizing a transolecranon pin joystick technique of CRPP (group 2). Both groups were followed over 16 weeks. The outcomes of our analysis included surgical time, times of fluoroscopy, Baumann angle, postoperative range of motion and complications. The surgical time and times of fluoroscopy were significantly shorter for patients in group 2 when compared with group 1 (P < 0.05). All cases showed restoration of the normal anterior humeral line-capitellar relationship. However, the quality of reduction on the anteroposterior radiographic view was significantly better for patients in group 2 than that of group 1 (P < 0.05). No immediate postoperative complications were observed. The range of motion was similar in both groups during the last follow-up appointment. A transolecranon pin is a safe and effective method for closed reduction of multidirectionally unstable supracondylar humeral fractures in children. The joystick technique can shorten surgical time and improve quality of reduction with no increasing risk of complications. Level of evidence: level III.

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