Thirty-five children who had fractures of the olecranon were reviewed. Age at the time of injury ranged from 0 years 2 months to 15 years 4 months. Fractures were retrospectively classified as type I or II according to the amount of displacement apparent on the initial radiographs. Type I fractures were those with <3 mm of displacement, and type II were those with displacement of ≤3 mm. Type I fractures (n = 23) were treated with closed methods, and splint or cast immobilization was maintained for an average of 3 weeks. All 23 type I fractures had satisfactory results on follow-up. Type II fractures (n = 12) were treated with open reduction and internal fixation. Greater intraarticular displacement was often seen intraoperatively than had been appreciated radiographically. Ten of 12 patients with type II fractures were available for follow-up; all had satisfactory results. Restoration of the articular surface in children with olecranon fractures optimizes joint function and growth potential. The amount of fracture may be more than is apparent on plain radiographs.
- Elbow fracture