Pediatric Supracondylar Humerus Fractures Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Aug 27, 2018
  • Author: Jiun-Lih Jerry Lin, MBBS, MS(Orth); Chief Editor: Jeffrey D Thomson, MD  more...
  • Print

Diagnostic Considerations

Pediatric lateral condyle fracture is an injury in the elbow that is often missed or mistaken for a supracondylar humerus fracture (SCHF). Clinically, it is important to differentiate between an SCHF (extra-articular) and a lateral condyle fracture (intra-articular). The management of lateral condyle fractures is much more aggressive than that of SCHFs, and there is a very low tolerance for fracture displacement. [7, 15]  (See the image below.)

(A, B) Anteroposterior (AP) and lateral radiograph (A, B) Anteroposterior (AP) and lateral radiographs of 4-year-old boy showing lateral condyle fracture. This common fracture can be difficult to discern on AP radiographs and thus may be missed. Lateral condyle fracture is intra-articular and often requires more aggressive treatment, more intensive monitoring, or longer immobilization as compared with supracondylar humerus fracture.

Differential Diagnoses