Monteggia fractures are defined as fractures of the ulna’s proximal third with associated dislocation of the radial head and were further described and classified by Bado. They are very rare in adults and even rare in children reaching an incidence of 1.5 - 3% of all pediatric forearm fractures. The treatment’s primary goal is the anatomical reduction of the ulnar fracture, and with that, the following indirect anatomic reduction of the radial head. Different modalities for the treatment of Monteggia fractures in children are reported.
We present possible closed reduction techniques and internal fixation based on the type of Bado classification in pediatric patients. We illustrate these techniques as a case series discussing the strengths, risks, and pitfalls of the ulna’s retrograde nailing.
Materials and Methods
For this case series, we included all pediatric patients who got surgical treatment at our institution for a Monteggia lesion from November 2000 to August 2019. Preoperative imaging consisted of conventional radiographs of the elbow and the forearm in two planes.
This case series reports about six pediatric cases (age two to six years, two girls and four boys). They all had a proximal Monteggia fracture. In all cases, closed indirect reduction of the ulnar fracture and reposition of the radial head was achieved utilizing retrograde nailing of the ulna employing an intramedullary nail or Kirschner-Wire according to the instructions. No infection, vascular or nerve injuries, or other complications occurred. All were pain-free and regained full range of motion compared to the contralateral side.
Indirect reduction and intramedullary retrograde nailing are minimally invasive techniques that do not harm the blood supply to the bone and soft tissues. It may be a safe and effective procedure.