Intercondylar Fractures of the Distal Humerus in Patients Younger Than 20 Years: Capsulectomy Results


Few reports in the literature have been dedicated to young patients with distal fractures of the humerus, and few have addressed subsequent indications to improve range of motion (ROM). This article is a retrospective review of the elbow flexion–extension ROM in 31 patients (age, 12–19 years) who had been treated with open reduction and internal fixation of intercondylar fractures of the distal humerus at a level I trauma center from 1991 through 2013. The ROM of patients who underwent capsulectomy was compared with that of those who did not. Main outcome measures were ROM in degrees and need for capsulectomy. Nine (29%) of the 31 patients had elected to undergo capsulectomy. Eleven did not require capsulectomy. The final flexion–extension arc was improved by 31° compared with the precapsulectomy ROM but did not attain the ROM of those who did not undergo capsulectomy. (Journal of Surgical Orthopaedic Advances 26(2):98–101, 2017) Key words: capsulectomy, intercondylar fracture of distal humerus, range of motion

W. Andrew Eglseder, MD, and Ebrahim Paryavi, MD, MPH