The aim of this study was to analyze outcomes of treatment and complications in children treated with flexible intramedullary nailing (FIN) due to humeral fracture.
The FIN for treatment of humeral fractures in children would allow an early functional and cast-free follow-up with a quick pain reduction and low complication rate.
Patients and methods
From May 2002 until May 2016 case records of all children who underwent fixation with titanium intramedullary nails because of humeral fracture were retrospectively reviewed. The study included 118 patients treated with FIN for proximal humeral or humeral shaft fracture. The average age at the time of trauma was 12 years. Mean follow-up was 77 months. Left hand was affected in 51% of patients. The most common mechanism of injury was fall (n=58), followed by sports injuries, road traffic accidents, pathological fractures, motorbike accidents and bicycle riding.
There were no residual valgus/varum deformities. All patients achieved complete radiographic healing at a mean of 7.5 weeks. Nine complications were recorded: 1 humeral shaft fracture in patient with osteogenesis imperfecta, 4 entry site skin irritations, 2 skin infections and 2 radial nerve injuries. There were no cases of delayed union, nonunion or mal-union. After removal of the nails, all patients regained full function and all complications resolved.
The FIN for humeral fractures is a minimally invasive, simple and well reproducible technique with very low complication rate.
The FIN for treatment of humeral fractures shows very good functional and cosmetic results. It allows an early functional and cast-free follow-up with a quick pain reduction.
Level of evidence
Level IV – retrospective study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Fracture, Humerus, Children, Titanium elastic nails, Elastic stable intramedullary nailing, Flexible intramedullary nailing