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Current Issue - November 2023, Volume 17, Issue No. 3

Official Journal of Malaysian Orthopaedic Association and ASEAN Orthopaedic Association

Radiological Criteria for Acceptable Alignment in Paediatric Mid-Shaft Forearm Fractures: A Systematic Review


Introduction: Forearm fractures are common in children. The remodelling capacity of growing long bones in children makes these potentially forgiving injuries, recovering with good outcomes despite minimal intervention. Clinicians rely on radiological characteristics that vary with age to guide treatment decisions and minimise adverse sequelae. The purpose of this review was to consolidate the evidence base of radiological indications for intervention in paediatric mid-shaft forearm fractures.

Materials and methods: The preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were followed for this review. Citable research output reporting radiological criteria for mid-shaft forearm fractures in paediatric patients (age ≤16 years) was screened and analysed to ascertain acceptable radiological criteria for non-operative management.

Results: A total of 2,059 papers were initially identified; 14 were selected following screening. Sagittal angulation >15°, coronal angulation >10°, and/or >50% (or >1cm) translation were the most common radiological indications for intervention in children aged 0 to 10 years. For children over 10 years of age, the most common radiological indication for intervention was sagittal angulation >10°, coronal angulation >10°, and/or >50% (or >1cm) translation.

Conclusion: This study revealed a scarcity of high-quality evidence to guide management and significant variation in outcome reporting throughout the published literature. Since Noonan and Price's 1998 recommendations, there has been no significant evolution in the evidence-base guided threshold for intervention in paediatric mid-shaft forearm fractures. There remains a pressing need for a robust multicentre observational study using the patient-reported outcome measurement information system (PROMIS) to address this complex and controversial area of uncertainty in paediatric trauma management.

Abstract   |   Reference

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The Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal is a peer-reviewed journal that is published three times a year in both print and electronic online version. The purpose of this journal is to publish original research studies, evaluation of current practices and case reports in various subspecialties of orthopaedics and traumatology, as well as associated fields like basic science, biomedical engineering, rehabilitation medicine and nursing.

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