Supracondylar humeral fracture

Case contributed by Dr Antonio Rodrigues de Aguiar Neto

Presentation

This patient admitted to the ER reporting a fall from height four days ago, with trauma to his left elbow.

Patient Data

Age: 8 years
Gender: Male

CT

CT images of the elbow demonstrate an undisplaced/minimally displaced (< 2 mm) transverse supracondylar humeral fracture of the two columns, consistent with Gartland type I. In addition, there is elbow joint effusion, identified by displacement of the anterior and posterior fat pad.

Impression: Gartland type I non-displaced supracondylar fracture.

Case Discussion

Supracondylar humeral fractures are the most frequent pediatric elbow injury, usually in children older than two and younger than ten years of age 1-5. Plain radiographs are the most crucial tool for the initial diagnosis; however, in some cases, CT imaging is superior to demonstrate the configuration of these fractures, which may impact the therapeutic conduct 1-6. The Gartland classification is the most accepted to characterize supracondylar fractures and guide treatment 1-5. Radiologists should adopt the same classification systems used by orthopedic surgeons to ensure the appropriate management 2,6.

This case is a typical example of a Gartland type I non-displaced supracondylar humeral fracture.

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