Picture of Wimbledon Clinics

Wimbledon Clinics

Obese Children At Greater Risk Of Complex Elbow Fractures, Post-Surgical Complications

Contact us for an appointment

*At Wimbledon Clinics we comply with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (UK). We will never share your data without your permission and we will only use your data how you’ve asked us to. Please let us know if you’d like to join our mailing list to receive updates about our specialist consultants, the latest treatments for orthopaedic and sports injuries and prevention tips for common injuries.

For more information, click here to view our privacy policy

Over the past couple of decades, childhood obesity has grown at such rate that it has become one of the greatest health issues of modern times. Obesity puts children at risk of various long-term medical conditions, among them problems with their musculoskeletal system. In the first study of its kind, researchers from the University of Michigan have established a link between obesity and higher risk of complications in children suffering a supracondylar humeral fracture, or, put simply, breaking a bone above the elbow.

The research report, which has been published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, details the findings of a study that involved more than 350 children aged from two to 11. These were children who had been operated on to treat a supracondylar humeral fracture. Among them, 68 were obese and 63 were classed as overweight. Type-2 fractures were sustained by 149 patients and 11 of them were obese. Among the 205 children undergoing surgery for type-3 fractures, 57 were classed as obese.

As lead study author Michelle S. Caird noted, the findings demonstrate that even a simple thing such as falling onto an outstretched hand can result in complex fractures for obese children. Moreover, obesity was associated with higher likelihood of post-operative complications in cases involving obese children. The study is the latest reminder of the dangers posed by obesity, showing parents once again how important it is to keep children active from a very young age. This is the time to lay the foundations of good bone health for life, Caird added.