Common Paediatric Elbow Injuries

Christopher E. Hill1, *, Stephen Cooke2
1 Specialist Registrar in Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK
2 Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon, University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, Coventry, UK

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© 2017 Hill and Cooke.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Trauma and Orthopaedics, University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust, Clifford Bridge Road, CV2 2DX, Coventry, UK; Tel: 02476 965094; E-mails:,



Paediatric elbow injuries account for a large proportion of childrens’ fractures. Knowledge of common injuries is essential to understanding their assessment and correct management.


A selective literature search was performed and personal surgical experiences are reported.


We have described the assessment and management of the five most common paediatric elbow injuries: supracondylar humeral fractures; lateral condyle fractures; medial epicondyle fractures; radial head and neck fractures; radial head subluxation.


Understanding of the ossification centres around the paediatric elbow is essential to correctly assessing and managing the common injuries that we have discussed in the review. Outcomes after these injuries are usually favourable with restoration of normal anatomy.

Keywords: Paediatric elbow, Humeral fractures, Lateral condyle fractures, Medial epicondyle fractures, Radial head, Neck fractures.