Supracondylar fracture

6 August 2018
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6 August 2018, Comments: 0

A supracondylar fracture is defined as damage to the upper arm bone or humerus. This is a common form of injury among children. It is generally brought about by a fall on an extended elbow or direct strike to the joint.

Surgical intervention is not always necessary. Oftentimes, a hard cast is adequate to promote healing.

What are the indications?

The typical signs of this type of fracture include:

  • Sudden, severe forearm and elbow pain
  • Popping or snap-like sensation at the time of injury
  • Swelling around the joint
  • Hand numbness
    Supracondylar fracture

    If a child is suspected with a supracondylar fracture, a doctor must be seen right away or bring the child to the emergency department as soon as possible.

  • Inability to move or straighten the arm

Management of a supracondylar fracture

If a child is suspected with a supracondylar fracture, a doctor must be seen right away or bring the child to the emergency department as soon as possible.

Mild fracture

Surgery is not needed for a mild case and if there are no complications. A splint or cast can be utilized to immobilize the joint and allow it to naturally heal. Oftentimes, a splint is utilized initially to allow the swelling to subside and then followed by a full cast.

In some cases, it is needed to restore the bone into position before a splint or cast is applied. In such instances, the child is given an anesthesia or sedation.

Severe fracture

If the fracture is severe, it requires surgical intervention such as:

  • Closed reduction with percutaneous pinning
  • Open reduction with internal fixation

What is the outlook?

A supracondylar fracture is a common injury during childhood. If treated promptly either with immobilization using a cast or surgery, full recovery can be achieved.

Quick Note / Disclaimer

The material posted on this page on a supracondylar fracture is for learning and educational purposes only. To learn to recognize the signs of injury and how it is treated, register for a first aid and CPR course with Victoria First Aid.

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