Pain during Office Removal of K-Wires from the Elbow in Children

Scott M. Sorenson, William Hennrikus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Closed reduction and K-wire fixation is standard treatment for displaced supracondylar fractures in children. The purpose of this study is to evaluate pain using 2 pediatric pain scales when removing K-wires from the distal humerus in children in the office setting.Methods:A total of 98 percutaneous smooth K-wires were removed from 47 patients who had sustained displaced supracondylar fractures of the elbow. Pain was measured using the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Pain Scale (CHEOPS). The maximum score is 13 and the minimum score is 4 points. In addition, after K-wire removal, each child indicated on a numbered pain-face diagram (Wong-Baker FACES: a scale consisting of faces with varying emotional expressions and corresponding numbers on a scale from 0 to 5) the amount of pain that they felt.Results:The average age of the patients treated was 7.1 years (range, 2 to 14 y). There were 28 males and 19 females. Thirty patients (64%) had a CHEOPS score of ≤6. The average CHEOPS was 6 (range, 4 to 10). Seventeen patients (37%) had a FACES score of ≤1. The average FACES score was 2 (range, 1 to 5). Higher CHEOPS and FACES scores correlated with younger patient age and higher number of K-wires removed.Conclusions:K-wire removal in the clinic is common practice. The pain associated with K-wire removal and the safety of this practice has received minimal previous study in the literature. In the present manuscript, 64% of patients had little or no pain measured by the CHEOPS scale-score of ≤6 and 36% had little or no pain self-reported by the FACES scale-score of ≤1. No patient reported severe pain by the CHEOPS scores (CHEOPS 11 to 13) and only 1 patient reported having severe pain with a FACES of 5. No complications occurred. The results of this study suggest that the removal of K-wires in the office setting is safe and acceptable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-344
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Orthopaedics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Pain during Office Removal of K-Wires from the Elbow in Children'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this