Fractures in children are common and account for 10% to 25% of injuries in children with considerable effects on activity restriction and subsequent high socioeconomically impact. Eighty percent of all fractures in children occur at the upper extremity. The article investigates the epidemiology and fracture pattern of the upper extremity within a pediatric population consulting a tertiary referral hospital in Switzerland.
Study population included all patients younger than 18 years presenting with an upper extremity fracture. Recorded data were age, sex, side, season of the year, mechanism, type of fracture, and applied treatment.
Fractures of the upper extremities represented 76% with a mean age of 9 years and 7 months. Compared with girls, boys had a risk ratio of 1.35 (1.14-1.6) of having a traumatic injury. The radius, with 298 fractures (37%), was the most injured bone. Overall simple fall from his or her height and soccer represented the main injury mechanisms accounting for 26% and 9%, respectively. Eighty-six percent of fractures were treated by cast with or without closed reduction, 11% (92) by closed reduction and pinning or elastic stable intramedullary, and only 3% of fractures were treated by open reduction and internal fixation.
Eighty-six percent of all fractures could be treated by conservative methods. Only 17% need surgical treatments by orthopedic surgeons. This shows how important it is to train residents in pediatrics for the treatment of upper limb fractures in children.