header advert
You currently have no access to view or download this content. Please log in with your institutional or personal account if you should have access to through either of these
The Bone & Joint Journal Logo

Receive monthly Table of Contents alerts from The Bone & Joint Journal

Comprehensive article alerts can be set up and managed through your account settings

View my account settings

Get Access locked padlock

Children's Orthopaedics

The necessity of ulnar nerve exploration and translocation in open reduction of medial humeral epicondyle fractures in children

Download PDF



Medial humeral epicondyle fractures (MHEFs) are common elbow fractures in children. Open reduction should be performed in patients with MHEF who have entrapped intra-articular fragments as well as displacement. However, following open reduction, transposition of the ulnar nerve is disputed. The aim of this study is to evaluate the need for ulnar nerve exploration and transposition.


This was a retrospective cohort study. The clinical data of patients who underwent surgical treatment of MHEF in our hospital from January 2015 to January 2022 were collected. The patients were allocated to either transposition or non-transposition groups. Data for sex, age, cause of fracture, duration of follow-up, Papavasiliou and Crawford classification, injury-to-surgery time, preoperative ulnar nerve symptoms, intraoperative exploration of ulnar nerve injury, surgical incision length, intraoperative blood loss, postoperative ulnar nerve symptoms, complications, persistent ulnar neuropathy, and elbow joint function were analyzed. Binary logistic regression analysis was used for statistical analysis.


A total of 124 patients were followed up, 50 in the ulnar nerve transposition group and 74 in the non-transposition group. There were significant differences in ulnar nerve injury (p = 0.009), incision length (p < 0.001), and blood loss (p = 0.003) between the two groups. Binary logistic regression analysis revealed that preoperative ulnar nerve symptoms (p = 0.012) were risk factors for postoperative ulnar nerve symptoms. In addition, ulnar nerve transposition did not affect the occurrence of postoperative ulnar nerve symptoms (p = 0.468).


Ulnar nerve transposition did not improve clinical outcomes. It is recommended that the ulnar nerve should not be transposed when treating MHEF operatively.

Cite this article: Bone Joint J 2024;106-B(2):212–218.

Correspondence should be sent to Dr. Yuxi Su. E-mail:

For access options please click here