Pediatric supracondylar humerus fractures: Effect of bone-implant interface conditions on fracture stability

Ron Lamdan, Meir Liebergall, Amit Gefen, Naum Symanovsky, Eran Peleg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Closed reduction and percutaneous fixation with Kirschner wires (KWs) is the standard of care of pediatric supra-condylar humerus fractures (SCHFs). Failure modes leading to loss of reduction are not clear and have not been quantified. Multiple factors may weaken the KW-bone interface bonding conditions. To the best of our knowledge, the possible effect of this decrease on different KW configurations and fracture stability has never been studied. Purpose: To investigate the effect of bone-KW friction conditions on SCHF post-operative mechanical stability and to formulate clinical guidelines for KW configuration under different conditions. Methods: Finite element-based model of a fixated SCHF was used to simulate structure stability for two lateral divergent versus crossed lateral and medial KW configurations under varying KW-bone friction conditions. Results: Finite element simulations demonstrated that crossed KWs provide superior stability compared with the divergent configuration when KW-bone bonding is compromised. When KW-bone bonding conditions are adequate, crossed and divergent KW configurations provide similar, sufficient fracture stability. Conclusions: Under normal bone-implant interface conditions, the two diverging lateral KW configuration offers satisfactory mechanical stability and may be the preferred choice of SCHF fixation. When KW-bone bonding is suboptimal, as when one or more of the lateral KWs are re-drilled, addition of a medial KW should be considered in order to improve stability despite risk to ulnar nerve.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)565-569
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Children's Orthopaedics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Finite elements
  • Kirschner wires
  • Pediatric
  • Supra-condylar


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