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MINERVA ORTOPEDICA E TRAUMATOLOGICA
A Journal on Orthopedics and Traumatology
ORTHOPEDIC TRAUMA UPDATE PART I
Minerva Ortopedica e Traumatologica 2009 October;60(5):471-80
Pediatric hand fractures
Singer G., Eberl R., Petnehazy T., Schmidt B.
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Medical University of Graz, Graz, Austria
The hand is the most frequently fractured part of the body in children. In young children, the hand is used as an organ of exploration satisfying their natural curiosity. This combined with a still poorly developed motor function makes the pediatric hand prone to injury. As children grow older, they start participating in sports like soccer, other ball sports and skiing in which it has been shown that the different bony structures of the hand are especially at risk of getting fractured. In contrast to adults children have a tremendous regenerative potential that allows us to apply different treatment strategies. The most important goal of treatment, however, is restoration of stability, function and cosmetic appearance of the hand. The vast majority of pediatric hand fractures can be treated conservatively with immobilization. Nevertheless, some of the fractures of the hand seen in the pediatric population necessitate surgical intervention in order to avoid devastating long-term sequalae. Most complications in treated fractures of the pediatric hand occur because the severity of the injury is underestimated on initial evaluation. Fractures of the pediatric carpus, metacarpus, thumb and fingers will be discussed in this review.