The Utility of Intraoperative Arthrogram in the Management of Pediatric Lateral Condyle Fractures of the Humerus

John Schoeneman Vorhies, Shawn Funk, Marilyn Elliott, Anthony Riccio, Brandon Ramo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Intraoperative arthrograms are commonly used in conjunction with closed reduction and percutaneous pinning (CRPP) of pediatric lateral condyle fractures of the humerus. The authors sought to determine how arthrograms affect management of these fractures. They reviewed all lateral condyle fractures treated surgically at a pediatric level I trauma center from 2008 to 2014. They stratified patients managed with and without an arthrogram as well as by timing of arthrogram. The authors compared injury parameters, initial and postoperative fracture displacement, and complications between groups. They identified 107 patients who were taken to the operating room for attempted closed reduction, which they classified as either CRPP without arthrogram or arthrogram first and then a decision to treat open or with CRPP. Fifty-eight (54.21%) underwent CRPP without arthrogram and 49 (45.79%) underwent arthrogram. Of those who had arthrograms, 27 (25.23%) were prior to fixation and 22 (20.56%) were after fixation. There was no difference in age, weight, or preoperative displacement among the groups. Mean postoperative displacement was significantly lower in the no arthrogram group vs the arthrogram group (0.91 mm vs 1.68 mm; P<.0001), but it did not differ based on timing of arthrogram (P=.836). Arthrograms changed management in 4 (8%) of 49 patients who had them. There was no statistical difference in the rate of changed management by timing of arthrogram (before vs after fixation, 14.8% vs 0%; P=.060). The authors demonstrated that arthrograms may be useful for assessing final fracture alignment after CRPP, but are unlikely to result in a treatment change and are not associated with improved postoperative alignment. [Orthopedics. 2020; 43(1):30-35.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-35
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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