In this section
Supracondylar fracture of the humerus - Emergency Department
Table 1: Recommended follow-up schedule for supracondylar fractures of the humerus.
Subsequent review appointments
Discharge advice to parents
At 7 days post-injury with x-ray of distal humerus in backslab
Check for any loss of position
At 3 weeks post-injury. Removal of backslab and x-ray out of backslab. Check for adequate callus. Allow gentle ROM.
At 6 weeks post-injury with x-ray.
If there is any concern about the change in the carrying angle of the elbow (cubitus varus), longer follow-up may be required.
Return if any subsequent concern re deformity
Likely to have prolonged period (months) of inability to fully extend elbow. This does not cause functional disability and should not be treated with physiotherapy
At 3 weeks post-operative reduction
Removal of backslab and K-wires
X-ray of distal humerus out of backslab
At 6 weeks post-operative with x-ray. Examine for coronal and axial alignment
Modify activities to avoid heavy arm use (e.g. climbing) for one month post-removal of cast
Indications for a consultant orthopaedic surgeon opinion are:
A patient can be discharged when they have met the following criteria:
Supracondylar fracture (with displacement)
Skaggs DL, Flynn JM. Supracondylar fractures of the distal humerus. In Rockwood and Wilkins' Fractures in Children, 7th Ed. Beaty JH, Kasser JR (Eds). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia 2010. p.487-532.