Flexion-type supracondylar humerus fractures are associated
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Background and purpose
Supracondylar humerus fractures are the most common type of elbow fracture in children. A small proportion of them are flexion-type fractures. We analyzed their current incidence, injury history, clinical and radiographic findings, treatment, and outcomes.

Patients and methods
We performed a population-based study, including all children <16 years of age. Radiographs were re-analyzed to include only flexion-type supracondylar fractures. Medical records were reviewed and outcomes were evaluated at a mean of 9 years after the injury. In addition, we performed a systematic literature review of all papers published on the topic since 1990 and compared the results with the findings of the current study.

During the study period, the rate of flexion-type fractures was 1.2% (7 out of 606 supracondylar humeral fractures). The mean annual incidence was 0.8 per 105. 4 fractures were multidirectionally unstable, according to the Gartland-Wilkins classification. All but 1 were operatively treated. Reduced range of motion, changed carrying angle, and ulnar nerve irritation were the most frequent short-term complications. Finally, in the long-term follow-up, mean carrying angle was 50% more in injured elbows (21°) than in uninjured elbows (14°). 4 patients of the 7 achieved a satisfactory long-term outcome according to Flynn’s criteria.

Supracondylar humeral flexion-type fractures are rare. They are usually severe injuries, often resulting in short-term and long-term complications regardless of the original surgical fixation used.