Intramedullary Fixation of Both Bone Forearm Fractures in Children and Adolescents: Healing Correlates with Development of the Olecranon Apophysis

Martin J. Morrison, Joshua N. Speirs, Anne M. Chicorelli, Matthew Garner, John M. Flynn, Martin J. Herman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Background:The purpose of this study was to determine whether healing of both bone forearm (BBFA) fractures in children and adolescents is associated with the stage of the olecranon apophysis development as described by the Diméglio modification of the Sauvegrain method.Methods:Records were reviewed from 2 children's hospitals from 1997 to 2008 to identify all patients younger than 18 years of age who had BBFA fractures treated with intramedullary nail fixation. Sixty-three patients were identified meeting inclusion and exclusion criteria. The stage of the olecranon apophysis was noted on the lateral radiograph at the time of the injury. Data were statistically analyzed to assess the olecranon stage at which the increased rate of delayed union becomes more prevalent using the receiver operating characteristic curve. Time to union, complications, and need for reoperation were recorded for each group.Results:One thousand three hundred ninety-eight patient records were reviewed with 63 patients meeting the inclusion criteria. Using a receiver operating characteristic curve, a cutoff of olecranon stage > 3 (stages 4 to 7) was a significant predictor of the increased rate of delayed union time compared with olecranon stages 0 to 3 (P=0.004). Non-healing-related complication rates for each group were 2/28 (7.1%) for olecranon stages and 0 to 3 and 6/35 (17.1%) for olecranon stages 4 to 7.Conclusions:The rate of delayed union for BBFA fractures that have been treated with intramedullary nail fixation is increased in children with more mature olecranon apophyses as compared with those with younger olecranon stages. We propose the use of the stage of olecranon apophysis development when choosing the surgical approach and implant for when treating operative BBFA fractures in children.Level of Evidence:Level III-retrospective comparative study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E198-E202
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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