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The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 6 | Pages 931 - 932
1 Aug 2000

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 82-B, Issue 2 | Pages 204 - 210
1 Mar 2000
O’Hara LJ Barlow JW Clarke NMP

We performed an audit of 71 children with consecutive displaced, extension-type supracondylar fractures of the humerus over a period of 30 months. The fractures were classified according to the Wilkins modification of the Gartland system. There were 29 type IIA, 22 type IIB and 20 type III. We assessed the effectiveness of guidelines proposed after a previous four-year review of 83 supracondylar fractures. These recommended that: 1) an experienced surgeon should be responsible for the initial management; 2) closed or open reduction of type-IIB and type-III fractures must be supplemented by stabilisation with Kirschner (K-) wires; and 3) K-wires of adequate thickness (1.6 mm) must be used in a crossed configuration.

The guidelines were followed in 52 of the 71 cases. When they were observed there were no reoperations and no malunion. In 19 children in whom they had not been observed more than one-third required further operation and six had a varus deformity. Failure to institute treatment according to the guidelines led to an unsatisfactory result in 11 patients. When they were followed the result of treatment was much better. We have devised a protocol for the management of these difficult injuries.

The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery British Volume
Vol. 79-B, Issue 6 | Pages 943 - 947
1 Nov 1997
O’Hara LJ Marshall RW

Of a total of 330 patients requiring operation on a lumbar disc, 20 (6.1%) with lateral disc prolapse had a new muscle-splitting, intertransverse approach which requires minimal resection of bone.

There were 16 men and 4 women with a mean age of 52 years. All had intense radicular pain, 15 had femoral radiculopathy and 19 a neurological deficit. Far lateral herniation of the disc had been confirmed by MRI.

At operation, excellent access was obtained to the spinal nerve, dorsal root ganglion and the disc prolapse. The posterior primary ramus was useful in locating the spinal nerve and dorsal root ganglion during dissection of the intertransverse space.

At review from six months to four years, 12 patients had excellent results with no residual pain and six had good results with mild discomfort and no functional impairment. Two had poor results. There had been neurological improvement in 17 of the 20 patients.

We report a cadaver study of the anatomy of the posterior primary ramus. It is readily identifiable through this approach and can be traced down to the spinal nerve in the intertransverse space.

We recommend the use of a muscle-splitting intertransverse approach to far lateral herniation of the disc, using the posterior primary ramus as the key to safe dissection.