Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Griffin KJ, Walsh SR, Markar S, Tang TY, Boyle JR, Hayes PD
The pink pulseless hand: a review of the literature regarding management of vascular complications of supracondylar humeral fractures in children.
Optional Fields
Supracondylar fractures of the humerus are the commonest upper limb fractures in children, accounting for up to 70% of all paediatric elbow fractures [Wilson MJ, Hunter JB. Supracondylar fractures of the humerus in children--wire removal in the outpatient setting. Injury Extra 2006 Aug;37(8):313-315] and are often complicated by neurovascular injury. Much confusion surrounds the management of the child with a "pink pulseless hand" post-fracture reduction and several treatment options have been proposed including observation, immediate exploration and angiography. The literature contains a number of case series with variable follow-up. Both angiography and colour duplex ultrasound provide little benefit in the management of these patients. A child with a pink pulseless hand post-fracture reduction can be managed expectantly unless additional signs of vascular compromise develop, in which case exploration should be undertaken.
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