Comparative analysis of pinning techniques for supracondylar humerus fractures in paediatrics: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Document Type



Ophthalmology; Medical College Pakistan


Purpose: Supracondylar humeral fractures (SCHFs) rank among the frequently observed fractures in children. Nonetheless, there exists a dearth of consensus regarding the optimal surgical approach. This meta-analysis aims to thoroughly evaluate and compare two distinct pinning techniques (cross pinning versus lateral pinning) for SCHFs, using data from Randomized controlled trials (RCTs).
Methods: Literature review was done using PubMed, CINAHL, Scopus, and The Cochrane Library for RCTs comparing the two pinning methods and providing information on at least one of the following: Loss of Baumann's angle, loss of carrying angle, elbow function assessed based on Flynn criteria, pin tract infection, and iatrogenic ulnar nerve injury. Random effect model was used to calculate standardized mean difference or Odds Ratio (OR) for the outcomes. Review Manager 5.4.1. was used to perform quality assessment and statistical analysis.
Results: A total of 22 RCTs were included. 20 studies reported data for iatrogenic ulnar nerve injury, the OR was calculated to be 3.76 (95% CI 1.75-8.06), showing a significantly lower risk of surgical ulnar nerve injury with the lateral technique. However, no significant difference was found between the pinning techniques in regard to the other outcomes.
Conclusion: In comparison to lateral pinning, the utilization of cross pinning technique exposes the patient to a heightened susceptibility of iatrogenic nerve injury. Therefore, it is recommended that surgeons prioritize the implementation of the lateral pinning technique whenever feasible, as it offers greater protection against iatrogenic ulnar nerve injury. For the other intraoperative and postoperative outcomes, both surgical techniques yield comparable results.


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Publication (Name of Journal)

Seminars in Perinatology