A retrospective review of 158 type 3 supracondylar humerus fractures was undertaken to determine whether any correlation exists between an increased time from injury to surgery and four unfavorable results: a longer operative time, an increase in hospital stay, an increase in the need to open the fracture, or an increase in unsatisfactory outcomes. The average age of the patients was 5.0 years. Five children had nerve injury on initial examination, and no arm was poorly perfused. The average time from injury to evaluation in the emergency department was 9.8 hours and the average time from the emergency department to surgery was 11.5 hours. The average total time from injury to surgical treatment was 21.3 hours. The patients were in the hospital between 1 to 6 days. The average operative time was 53 minutes. Thirty patients had unsatisfactory results, defined as a pin infection, more than 15 degrees loss of motion in any plane, loss of normal carrying angle, neuropraxia, or retained hardware. There was no correlation between an increase in time to surgical intervention and longer operative time or need to open the fracture site, nor was there an indication that the delay to surgical treatment resulted in a longer hospital stay or an increase in unsatisfactory results.





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