Operative management of children's fractures of the shoulder region

R. J. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Fractures about the shoulder in children rarely require operative treatment. Exceptions include open fractures and those associated with neurovascular compromise. Fractures of the proximal humerus in older children that cannot be adequately reduced and maintained should be treated with open reduction and internal fixation. Interposition of periosteum and biceps tendon can lead to difficulty in fracture reduction. Irreducible displaced fractures of the clavicular shaft, fractures that develop nonunion, and congenital pseudarthorsis of the clavicle can be treated by an intramedullary pin technique with bone grafting. Posterior displacement of fractures of the medial clavicle sometimes become an orthopedic emergency. Reduction by closed or open means should be accomplished to relieve compression of mediastinal structures. This injury does not require internal fixation. Types IV, V, and VI distal clavicle injuries require open reduction and reefing of the periosteal tube with occasional need for temporary lag-screw fixation. There is some debate about the type III injury. Large glenoid fracture involving the anterior rim that are associated with instability of the gelnojumeral joint are best treated by open reduction and internal fixation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-324
Number of pages10
JournalOrthopedic Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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