Supracondylar fractures of the elbow with major displacement are usually treated by surgical pinning and less often non-operatively as described by Blount. The objective of this study was to assess the clinical and radiological outcomes of Gartland type III supracondylar fractures treated at least 3 years earlier using Blount's method.
Blount's method produces good outcomes after more than 3 years when used to treat Gartland type III supracondylar fractures of the humerus.
A single-centre retrospective study was done in paediatric patients who were seen within 24hours after sustaining a Gartland type III supracondylar fracture then re-evaluated at least 36 months after treatment. Closed reduction was performed either in the operating room under general anaesthesia or in the radiology suite under procedural sedation. The upper limb was then immobilised for 4 weeks using the cuff-and-collar method described by Blount (mean elbow flexion, 134°). The child was evaluated and radiographs obtained at the outpatient clinic on days 7 and 14. Functional outcomes were assessed using the 1962 SoFCOT criteria and Flynn's criteria and the radiological outcome using Baumann's angle, the humero-condylar angle, and distal fragment rotation. From 2009 to 2013, 22 patients met the inclusion criteria. Mean follow-up was 57 months.
Clinical outcomes assessed using the 1962 SoFCOT criteria were very good in 15 patients and good in the remaining 7 patients. The rate of satisfactory outcomes according to Flynn's criteria was 100%. At last follow-up, mean Baumann's angle was 68°, mean humerocondylar angle was 42°, and 2 patients had residual rotation of the distal fragment.
This work confirms the effectiveness of Blount's method for treating Gartland type III supracondylar fractures. We advocate routine first-line treatment of these fractures using Blount's method in the absence of vascular compromise and instability.
Level of evidence
IV, retrospective study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Supracondylar humerus fracture, Gartland type III, Blount's method