Early Vessels Exploration of Pink Pulseless Hand in Gartland III Supracondylar Fracture Humerus in Children: Facts and Controversies
The management of pink pulseless limbs in supracondylar fractures has remained controversial, especially with regards to the indication for exploration in a clinically well-perfused hand. We reviewed a series of seven patients who underwent surgical exploration of the brachial artery following supracondylar fracture. All patients had a non-palpable radial artery, which was confirmed by Doppler ultrasound. CT angiography revealed complete blockage of the artery with good collateral and distal run-off. Two patients were more complicated with peripheral nerve injuries, one median nerve and one ulnar nerve. Only one patient had persistent arterial constriction which required reverse saphenous graft. The brachial arteries were found to be compressed by fracture fragments, but were in continuity. The vessels were patent after the release of obstruction and the stabilization of the fracture. There was no transection of major nerves. The radial pulse was persistently present after 12 weeks, and the nerve activity returned to full function.
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