Pin tract infection of operatively treated supracondylar fractures in children: long-term functional outcomes and anatomical study.
PURPOSE: The purpose of our study was to determine the long-term functional outcomes of pin tract infection after percutaneous pinning of displaced supracondylar humeral fractures in children, and to evaluate the potential for intracapsular pin placement based on pin configuration in cadaveric elbows.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective review of all patients requiring percutaneous pinning in a single institution over a 19-year period. The functional outcome assessment consisted of a telephone interview using the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH)] Outcome Measure and the Patient-Rated Elbow Evaluation (PREE) questionnaires. The risk of intracapsular pin placement was studied in cadaveric elbows for the three most common pin configurations: divergent lateral, parallel lateral, and medial and lateral crossed pins.
RESULTS: Of 490 children, 21 (4.3 %) developed pin tract infection. There were 15 (3.1 %) superficial and six (1.2 %) deep infections (osteomyelitis and septic arthritis). Both DASH and PREE scores were excellent at a mean of 18 years post-surgery. The risk of intracapsular pin placement using parallel lateral pins was found to be greater (p < 0.05) than either crossed or divergent lateral pinning configurations.
CONCLUSIONS: Most infections after pinning of supracondylar humerus fractures are superficial and can be managed with pin removal, oral antibiotics, and local wound care. Septic arthritis and osteomyelitis are rare complications; when they do occur, they seem to be associated with parallel lateral pin configuration, though a causal relationship could not be established from the current study. Satisfactory long-term outcomes of these deep infections can be expected when treated aggressively with surgical debridement and intravenous antibiotics.
Published In/Presented At
Parikh, S. N., Lykissas, M. G., Roshdy, M., Mineo, R. C., & Wall, E. J. (2015). Pin tract infection of operatively treated supracondylar fractures in children: long-term functional outcomes and anatomical study. Journal of children's orthopaedics, 9(4), 295–302. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11832-015-0674-8
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Surgery