Hillard T Spencer

Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, United States

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Publications (5)8.69 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: : The range of injury severity that can be seen within the category of type II supracondylar humerus fractures (SCHFs) raises the question whether some could be treated nonoperatively. However, the clinical difficulty in using this approach lies in determining which type II SCHFs can be managed successfully without a surgical intervention. : We reviewed clinical and radiographic information on 259 pediatric type II SCHFs that were enrolled in a prospective registry of elbow fractures. The characteristics of the patients who were treated without surgery were compared with those of patients who were treated surgically. Treatment outcomes, as assessed by the final clinical and radiographic alignment, range of motion of the elbow, and complications, were compared between the groups to define clinical and radiographic features that related to success or failure of nonoperative management. : During the course of treatment, 39 fractures were found to have unsatisfactory alignment with nonoperative management and were taken for surgery. Ultimately, 150 fractures (57.9%) were treated nonoperatively, and 109 fractures (42.1%) were treated surgically. At final follow-up, outcome measures of change in carrying angle, range of motion, and complications did not show clinically significant differences between treatment groups. Fractures without rotational deformity or coronal angulation and with a shaft-condylar angle of >15 degrees were more likely to be associated with successful nonsurgical treatment. A scoring system was developed using these features to stratify the severity of the injury. Patients with isolated extension deformity, but none of the other features, were more likely to complete successful nonoperative management. : This study suggests that some of the less severe pediatric type II SCHFs can be successfully treated without surgery if close follow-up is achieved. Fractures with initial rotational deformity, coronal malalignment, and significant extension of the distal fragment are likely to fail a nonoperative approach. An algorithm using the initial radiographic characteristics can aid in distinguishing groups.
    Journal of pediatric orthopedics 10/2012; 32(7):675-81. · 1.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES:: We measured biomechanical stability in simulated supracondylar humeral fractures fixed with each of six pin configurations, two with associated medial comminution, and developed a technique for reproducible pin placement and divergence. METHODS:: A transverse supracondylar osteotomy was performed on 36 biomechanical humerus models. Of these, twenty-four (4 groups of 6 specimens each) were fixed with pins in one of four lateral-entry configurations. The remaining twelve (2 groups of 6 specimens each) had a 30° medial wedge removed from the distal humerus and were fixed with one of two configurations. Half of each group was tested under axial rotation, the other half under varus bending. The distal humerus was divided into four equal regions from lateral to medial (1-4). Lateral entry pins were inserted through regions 1-3, while the medial pin was inserted through region 4. RESULTS:: Without comminution, three widely spaced, divergent lateral-entry pins resulted in higher torsional stiffness (0.36Nm/deg) than two pins in adjacent regions (p<0.055), but similar to two pins in nonadjacent regions (p=0.57). Three lateral-entry pins had higher bending stiffness (79.6N/mm) than two pins, which ranged from 46.7N/mm (p<0.01) to 62.5N/mm (p=0.21).With comminution, adding a third, medial-entry pin increased torsional stiffness (0.13 to 0.24 Nm/deg, p<0.01), and increased bending stiffness (38.7 to 44.7 N/mm, p=0.10). CONCLUSIONS:: For fractures without medial column comminution, fixation using 3 lateral-entry pins may provide the greatest combination of torsional and bending stiffness. With medial comminution, adding a third medial pin increased torsional stiffness (p<0.01), as well as bending stiffness (p=0.10).
    Journal of orthopaedic trauma 08/2012; · 1.78 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Occasionally, the treatment of a pediatric supracondylar humeral fracture is delayed owing to lack of an available treating physician, necessitating transfer of the child, or delay in availability of an operating room. The purpose of this study is to prospectively evaluate whether delayed pinning of these fractures affects the outcome or number of complications. We reviewed information that was prospectively collected on 145 pediatric supracondylar humeral fractures that were treated by closed reduction and percutaneous pinning, with a minimum follow-up of 8 weeks. To determine the effect of delayed treatment, we compared a group of fractures that was treated within the first 21 hours after their presentation to our urgent care center (Group A) with a group that was treated after more than 21 hours (Group B). We compared the following variables: need for open reduction, length of surgery, length of hospitalization, the presence of neurologic complications, vascular complications including compartment syndrome, pin tract infection, loss of fixation, final carrying angle, range of motion, and outcome. Overall, the mean time from presentation to surgery for both groups was 52 hours. This interval was greater for Gartland type II fractures (65 h) than for Gartland type III fractures (19 h) (P=0.00001). There was no need for an open reduction in either group. There were no significant differences between the groups regarding iatrogenic nerve injuries, vascular complications, compartment syndromes, surgical time, final carrying angle, range of motion, and outcome. The results of this prospective study found that a delay in pinning closed supracondylar humeral fractures in children did not lead to a higher incidence of open reduction or a greater number of complications. Although the urgency of treating any child with a supracondylar fracture should be individualized, our study suggests that most of these injuries can be managed safely in a delayed fashion without compromising the clinical outcome. We recommend careful monitoring of any patient with type 3 injury whose treatment is delayed. II.
    Journal of pediatric orthopedics 12/2010; 30(8):785-91. · 1.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Temporary elbow stiffness after the treatment of a supracondylar humeral fracture in a child is often a concern of parents. However, little attention has been devoted to documenting, longitudinally, the time required for motion recovery. The purpose of the present study was to provide a prospective, longitudinal evaluation of elbow motion in a large population of pediatric patients undergoing treatment of a supracondylar humeral fracture. We prospectively examined 373 patients (375 fractures) who presented to our urgent care center between March 1, 2007, and September 30, 2008. On the basis of a standard protocol, patients were managed with either casting or surgery, depending on the severity of the injury, and then were followed for a minimum of seven weeks. Values of elbow flexion and extension were recorded, and the relative arc of motion was calculated as a percentage of the motion of the contralateral elbow. In general, following a supracondylar humeral fracture, the greatest increases in flexion, extension, and the absolute and relative arcs of motion are observed within the first month after cast removal, with a progressive improvement for up to forty-eight weeks after the injury. Age had a significant effect on the recovery of elbow motion, with patients older than five years of age demonstrating a 3% to 9% lower relative arc of motion at the follow-up points in comparison with younger patients. Similarly, patients with more-severe fractures requiring surgical treatment demonstrated a decrease in relative elbow motion of 10% (with respect to the contralateral side) at the time of cast removal in comparison with those who were managed nonoperatively. The present study demonstrates that an initial rapid recovery in elbow motion can be expected after a supracondylar humeral fracture in a child, followed by a progressive improvement for up to one year after the injury. This motion recovery is slower in older patients and in those with more severe injuries.
    The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery 04/2010; 92(4):904-10. · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Patients with arthrogryposis often report decreased ambulation and physical activity. Given that skeletal mineralisation is responsive to force, we identified the need to characterize bone mineral density and functional measures in this population, and conducted a cross-sectional study to establish a reference for future investigations. Thirty consecutive patients aged 5 to 18 years with either the diagnosis of amyoplasia or nonsyndromic arthrogryposis with predominantly lower extremity involvement underwent bone densitometry testing, and lumbar spine Z-scores were calculated against an age and sex-matched control population as is customary in children. Pediatric outcomes data collection instrument (PODCI) and functional independence measure for Children (WeeFIM) assessment forms were completed. Mean Z-scores, PODCI, and WeeFIM scores were calculated. Statistical analysis was performed to compare lumbar spine Z-scores between patients divided by ambulatory status and to correlate WeeFIM and PODCI scores. Mean lumbar spine Z-score was -0.47, with 73% of Z-scores being <0. Mean Z-score among nonambulators or home ambulators was -1.05, as compared to a mean Z-score among limited and unlimited community ambulators of -0.14 with a trend toward significance (P=0.10), and a dose-response relationship between higher bone density and increasing ambulatory function. Mean WeeFIM self-care and mobility quotient scores were 67.5/100 and 70.9/100, respectively. PODCI normative scores were decreased for upper extremity (10/50), transfer/basic mobility (-17/50), and sports/physical function (4/50), but normal in pain/comfort (45/50) and happiness (49/50). A linear relationship was noted between functional ambulation level and WeeFIM quotient and PODCI normative scores. There was good correlation between WeeFIM mobility and PODCI transfers and basic mobility standardised scores (R=0.86). This is the first study to measure bone mineral density in children with arthrogryposis, and shows it to be lower than age-matched means, especially in patients with limited ambulation. Objective measures of functional ability (WeeFIM and PODCI) are decreased and demonstrate a linear relationship with ambulatory level. Further investigation is needed to quantify long-term effects of entering adulthood with below average bone mineral density in patients with arthrogryposis. Level II.
    Journal of pediatric orthopedics 01/2010; 30(5):514-8. · 1.23 Impact Factor