A total of 6,493 fractures was studied from 6,389 children younger than 16 years admitted as inpatients to one center in a 10-year period. The boy-to-girl ratio increased from 1.4:1 in the infants to 4.9:1 in the adolescents. The most common fractures were the distal radius (20.2%), supracondylar fracture of the humerus (17.9%), forearm shaft (14.9%), and the tibial shaft (11.9%). A distinct age-specific fracture pattern also was found, with supracondylar fracture of the humerus being the most common fracture in the age 0- to 3-year (26.7%) and the 4- to 7-year (31.6%) groups and distal radius in the 8- to 11-year and the 12- to 16-year groups (24.3 and 25.7%, respectively). Although the overall pattern of the major fractures had not changed over the 10-year period, significant changes in the treatment pattern were observed. The closed-reduction and percutaneous pinning rates increased from 9.5 to 38.7% in fracture of the distal radius, 4.3 to 40% in the supracondylar humerus, and 1.8 to 22% in the forearm shaft. The changes in treatment pattern were also accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the open-reduction rate and hospital stay periods from < 10% to 38% of patients being discharged within 1 day of admission in the 10-year period.





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