Do Obese Children Have Poor Patient-reported Outcomes After Closed Reduction and Percutaneous Pin Fixation of Supracondylar Humerus Fractures?

Alex C DiBartola, Nikita Thakur, Satbir Singh, Carl D Quinion, Julie Balch Samora
Journal of Pediatric Orthopedics 2021 January 20

BACKGROUND: Nearly 1 in 5 American children are obese. The primary purpose of this study is to evaluate the relationship between childhood obesity and perioperative complications, patient-reported outcomes (PRO), and functional recovery after closed reduction and percutaneous pinning (CRPP) of type II and III supracondylar humerus fractures.

METHODS: Retrospective review of patients treated operatively with CRPP of Wilkins modification of the Gartland classification type II and III supracondylar humerus fractures was performed over a 1-year timeframe (July 1, 2016 to July 1, 2017). One hundred forty-four patients under the age of 16 treated were identified. Obesity was defined as body mass index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile for age. Obesity as a risk factor for poor outcomes was assessed. The primary outcome measure was postoperative PRO [quick-DASH, Patient Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS)-UE, PROMIS Global Health, and PROMIS Pain scores].

RESULTS: Mean age at surgery was 5.9 years (SD=2.1, 1.07 to 12.2) and mean age at final follow-up (3.3 y) was 8.8 (SD=2.14, 4 to 16). Mean patient BMI was 17.2 (SD=4.48, 12.4 to 56.2). Sixty-six patients were female (45.8%) and 78 patients were male (54.2%). In all, 31 of 144 patients (21.5%) met criteria for obesity. Obesity (95th percentile for BMI or above) was not associated with a higher rate of complications overall (χ2=1.29, P=0.256), range of motion loss (χ2=0.2, P=0.655) or requirement of postoperative physical therapy (χ2=0.17, P=0.678). Seventy-five patients were available and willing to participate in the outcomes score assessments. Mean follow-up for this cohort of 75 patients was 3.3 years (SD=0.31, 2.85 to 3.88). There were no differences in PROMIS pain, PROMIS upper extremity function, PROMIS general health, or quick-DASH scores when comparing obese with nonobese patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Obesity is a growing concern in the United States and its effect on long-term outcomes after CRPP of supracondylar humerus fractures is unknown. The present study demonstrates no difference in complications or PRO among obese patients compared with nonobese patients.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV-retrospective cohort study.

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