Diaphyseal femoral fractures below the age of six years: Results of plaster application and long term followup

Nunzio Catena, Filippo M. Sénès, Simone Riganti, Silvio Boero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background:In children less than 6 years, the treatment of femoral shaft fracture is often non surgical, using closed reduction and casting. The literature reports many experience about this type of trauma but none of these has a long term followup. We present a retrospective study on a group of femoral diaphyseal fractures treated nonsurgically in children up to 6 years of age, with a minimum of 10 year followup. Materials and Methods:48 cases (36 males/12 females) with femoral diaphyseal fractures treated between January 1988 and December 1998 were reviewed. Patients with fractures due to obstetrical trauma and pathologic fractures were excluded. The mean age of the patients was 3.3 ± 1.1 years (range 5 months-6 years). Right side was involved in 21 cases (44%), and left side in 27 cases (56%). In 34 cases (71%), closed reduction was performed and hip spica was applied with the hip and knee flexed to 45. In 8 cases (17%), skeletal traction was applied to perform fracture reduction and the traction pin was embedded in plaster while in the remaining 6 cases (12%), the Delitala pressure apparatus was applied after casting. Results:All fractures healed in our study. There were no complications (infection or vascular nervous issues, axial deviations, consolidation delays, or pseudoarthrosis). In 13 cases (27%), followup examinations showed mean lengthening of 1.3 ± 0.75 (range 0.5-2.5 cm) of the fractured lower limb. All these patients were treated with skin traction before treatment and presented with 2.08 ± 0.28 cm mean initial femoral shortening. In 1 case (2%) with 2.5 cm lengthening, epiphysiodesis of the ipsilateral knee was performed. No patients showed prolonged difficulty with gait disorders. Conclusion:On the basis of our results conservative treatment of femoral shaft fractures in children can be considered less invasive and safe procedure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-34
Number of pages5
JournalIndian Journal of Orthopaedics
Volume48
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Cast treatment
  • long term results
  • pediatric femoral fractures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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