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.