The Factors Influencing the Refracture of Pediatric Forearms.


PURPOSE Pediatric forearm fractures are common and usually heal uneventfully. The purpose of this study was to review the refracture rate and to identify trends and risk factors that may lead to a refracture. METHODS Using current procedure terminology code and subsequent chart review we retrospectively identified 2590 patients who sustained forearm fractures over the past 10 years (2000 to 2010) and were treated at a single, large pediatric orthopaedic practice. RESULTS We identified 37 patients who met our search criterion which yielded a refracture rate of 1.4%. Average length of immobilization was 72.2 days for initial fractures and 98.2 days for refractures. Average time to refracture after declared healing of initial injury was 128.7 days with 36% of refractures occurring within 6 weeks of clinical clearance. Fractures with ≥ 15 degrees angulation refractured earlier (mean 40 d). Seventy-one percent (71%) of patients with refractures had ≥ 10 degrees residual angulation at the time of union of the initial fracture. There was complete radiographic healing in 72% of patients that subsequently refractured. Forearm fractures that refractured most commonly occurred in the middle third (72%), with 24% in the proximal third and 4% in the distal third. Only 2 of 28 patients required surgical instrumentation of the forearm to achieve union of the refracture. We identified a trend toward longer immobilization and time to clinical clearance following a refracture, 76.4 versus 104.2 days. CONCLUSIONS Over the past 10 years, our clinical data identifies a 1.4% refracture rate, which is significantly less than the previously published rate of 5%. Fractures with greater residual angulation (> 15 degrees) showed a tendency toward earlier refracture and may warrant longer immobilization. Forearm refractures united in most instances with closed treatment. Our treatment with cast or protective brace immobilization and limitation of activity until complete radiographic union likely influences our improved refracture rates.

DOI: 10.1097/BPO.0000000000000355
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@article{Tisosky2015TheFI, title={The Factors Influencing the Refracture of Pediatric Forearms.}, author={Ashley J Tisosky and Matthew M Werger and Thomas G McPartland and John Andrew Bowe}, journal={Journal of pediatric orthopedics}, year={2015}, volume={35 7}, pages={677-81} }