Supracondylar (elbow) Fracture in Children 

Supracondylar fractures or elbow fractures are common in growing children due to their increased physical activity and bone tenderness. This type of fracture often goes unnoticed due to its position and low intensity of symptoms. In children,. The joint of elbow is often tender and mostly consists of cartilage therefore any injury to this joint could produce low intensity symptoms like elbow pain or others. Though these type if fractures could cause difficulty in performing normal day actions and if left as it is could lead to broken ligaments. The joint in itself is a complex one and therefore any fracture in it is not easily detected with a simple X-ray. With the use of special imaging techniques one could reveal the hair line or sever fracture in Supracondylar humerus bone. These type of fractures often get detected after several days or months of fracture which causes delay in treatments. So here is information on symptoms, types and diagnosis of supracondylar humerus fracture.


The supracondylar bone is located just above the elbow therefore any injury to this bone would cause pain and swelling in and around elbow. The most important symptom of such fracture is pain in elbow. The child might show a bruise, swelling, redness or similar other signs of injury that could be a fracture form inside. Ask the child to move the elbow up and down, if he complains of pain while doing this then it could be a supracondylar fracture.


In majority cases a simple x-ray is sufficient to pronounce the fracture but the injury is minor and the fracture is hair line then advanced techniques are needed to detect it. Radiographic imaging could easily detect the presence of fracture and could advice further treatment. Here the important thing to remember is the position of elbow while taking the images. Many times children in nervousness forget to place the elbow bloody discharge after period in correct position and this change could greatly deviate the result of this test. Therefore attention should be given to the position.

Types of supracondylar fractures

Type 1-this type of fracture is generally non serious kind. Here a slight crack would be observed on the bone which does not affect the alignment and position of bone. The child will have pain in the elbow but the fracture would be equal to a hair line. This type of fracture takes two to three weeks to heal completely with the help of cast.

Type 2-in this type, the end of the bone would be still present on the position but it would be displaced form the upper end or in between. This supracondylar fracture is visible on X-ray with an evident displacement. Many times this type of fracture needs operation to instill pins that would make up for the displaced area of the bone and to keep the elbow working.

Type 3- this is the most sever form of supracondyler humerus fracture where complete displacement of the bone is evident. This means the supracondylar have no attachments to the hinges and other bones. This type would produce grave pain and swelling in the arm and require immediate surgery of the arm.

Early detection and treatment could heal all the types of elbow fracture sin children.