Acta Orthopaedica et Traumatologica Turcica
Research Article

Flexible intramedullary nailing for radial neck fractures in children


Department of Pediatric Surgery, University Hospital of Split, Split, Croatia


Department of Surgery, University of Split, School of Medicine, Split, Croatia


Clinic of Pediatric Surgery, General Hospital Zadar, Zadar, Croatia

AOTT 2020; 54: 618-622
DOI: 10.5152/j.aott.2020.19223
Read: 142 Downloads: 43 Published: 30 December 2020

Objective: The aim of this study was to analyze the outcomes of treatment and the rate of complications in children treated with flexible intramedullary nailing (FIN) for radial neck fractures.

Methods: The study included 26 children (11 males and 15 females) with a median age of 9.5 years, treated with FIN for the radial neck fractures between May 2011 and May 2018. Immobilization after the surgery was not used. The median follow-up was 41 months. According to the Judet classification, 15 fractures were classified as type III and 11 as Type IV. For each patient, clinical, radiological, and disability of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) scores were calculated.

Results: All patients achieved complete radiographic healing at a median of 5 weeks. The nails were removed at a median of 4 months. The rate of complications was 11.5%, including 1 radial head necrosis, 1 angulation of 15°, and 1 displacement of the radial head. Twenty patients (76.9%) achieved a perfect clinical healing, while 23 patients (88.5%) achieved a perfect radiological healing. The median DASH score was 1.25. No cases of delayed healing were recorded. After removing of the nails, all patients returned to full function of the extremity and all complications were resolved.

Conclusion: The use of FIN for treating fractures of the radial neck in children shows very good functional and cosmetic results. It allows mobilization with rapid pain reduction. It is a minimally invasive, simple, and reproducible technique with a low rate of complication. Owing to excellent results, surgical stabilization of radial head and neck fractures using FIN is recommended in children and adolescents.

Level of Evidence: Level IV, Therapeutic study

Cite this article as: Pogorelić Z, Capitain A, Jukić M, Žufić M, Furlan D. Flexible intramedullary nailing for radial neck fractures in children. Acta Orthop Traumatol Turc 2020; 54(6): 618-22.

ISSN 1017-995X EISSN 2589-1294