JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Open reduction and internal fixation of forearm fractures in children.

We retrospectively reviewed 16 children younger than 13 years with 17 fractures of the shafts of the radius or ulna or both who had undergone an open reduction-internal fixation (ORIF). ORIF was performed when a closed reduction was deemed unacceptable in 14 radius fractures and for three unstable open fractures of the radius. The average age was 9.4 +/- 2.3 years (range, 5.0-12.5). Of the 14 fractures with an unacceptable closed reduction, soft-tissue interposition was encountered in seven. Fixation was secured by plates and screws, percutaneous Steinmann pins, or intramedullary Steinmann pins. There were no delayed unions or nonunions, no infections, and no neurovascular injuries. The average follow-up was 12.3 months; all 17 fractures had excellent results (forearm rotation loss of < 10 degrees). Our study indicates that excellent results can be expected with no increased risk of complications if the treating physician elects to proceed with an ORIF in a pediatric forearm fracture with proper indications.

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