Elbow Fractures in Children

Abstract

Elbow fractures are common injuries in children, and often require surgical treatment. Evaluation and diagnosis of these injuries can be difficult in this population of patients because of the presence of secondary ossification centers of the elbow that develop over time, sometimes mimicking fractures. The additional challenge of recognizing occult fractures makes this one of the most demanding sets of injuries to manage in children. Successful treatment of an elbow fracture in a pediatric patient requires an understanding of the normal order of fusion of the secondary growth centers, the mechanism of injury, the natural histories of the different treatments for elbow fractures, and the potential complications of treatment. This article reviews the diagnostic and management strategies for the most common elbow fractures seen in pediatric patients.

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