Radiographic assessments of pediatric supracondylar fractures and mid-term patient-reported outcomes

Francisco A. Eguia, Caleb P. Gottlich, Molly Vora, Walter Klyce, Sherif Hassan, Paul D. Sponseller, R. Jay Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radiographic parameters are commonly used to determine the need for surgical supracondylar humeral (SCH) fracture reduction and the postoperative quality of reduction. We studied whether such parameters are correlated with mid-term patient-reported outcome (PRO) scores in pediatric patients.We retrospectively reviewed data from 213 patients (104 girls) treated surgically for Gartland type-II (n = 84) or type-III (n = 129) SCH fractures from 2008-2016. Mean (± standard deviation) age at surgery was 5.1 ± 2.1 years. Mean time from initial treatment to outcome survey completion was 5.0 ± 2.1 years (range, 2.0-10 years). We evaluated preoperative radiographs for coronal/sagittal fracture displacement, presence of impaction/comminution, Gartland classification, and rotation. Patients, parents were asked via telephone to complete the QuickDASH (Quick Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand) and PROMIS (Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System) Strength Impact, Upper Extremity, and Pain Interference questionnaires. Parents were also asked whether the previously fractured arm appeared normal or abnormal. We evaluated postoperative radiographs for coronal/sagittal deformity, Baumann angle, and rotation and classified reductions as near complete/complete or incomplete. Anterior humeral line through the capitellum, Baumann angle in the 7.5th to 92.5th percentile of the sample, or rotation ratio between 0.85 and 1.15 were considered near complete/complete reductions; all others were considered incomplete. Bivariate analysis was used to determine whether radiographic parameters and arm appearance were associated with QuickDASH and PROMIS scores.Patients with Gartland type-III fractures had significantly greater disability on the QuickDASH at follow-up compared with those with Gartland type-II fractures (P < .01). It is unknown if this statistical difference translates to clinical relevance. No other preoperative or postoperative radiographic parameter was significantly associated with PRO scores. There was no association between fractured arm appearance at follow-up and PRO scores.Radiographic parameters that are used to evaluate the need for and quality of pediatric SCH fracture reduction are not significantly associated with mid-term PROMIS and QuickDASH scores.LOE: Prognostic Level III.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e22543
Issue number41
StatePublished - Oct 9 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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