Whereas operative treatment of supracondylar fractures is now standard of care for Gartland type 3 supracondylar humerus fractures in children, the treatment of type 2 fractures remains somewhat controversial. The purpose of this article was to examine the safety and efficacy of closed reduction and pinning of type 2 supracondylar humerus fractures in children.

We performed a retrospective review of 189 type 2 supracondylar humerus fractures operatively treated at one tertiary care children's hospital from 2000 to 2006. Data were acquired from a review of radiographs and clinical notes.

We found no intraoperative surgical or anesthetic complications in our series. None of our cases lost reduction after closed reduction and percutaneous pinning. There were 4 pin tract infections (2.1%) in our series: 3 were treated with antibiotics, and 1 needed irrigation and debridement in the operating room. This was the only patient who required reoperation for any reason.

In this study, the largest reported series of type 2 supracondylar humerus fractures in children, we found an extremely low rate of complications after closed reduction and percutaneous pinning; secondary operations were also uncommon (0.5%). Our series demonstrates a high probability of satisfactory outcome after operative treatment of type 2 supracondylar fractures compared with previous studies of children treated by closed reduction without pinning.

Therapeutic study, level 4 (case series [no or historical control group]).

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