NSAID Use and Fracture Healing in Pediatric Patients

The results of a prospective randomized controlled trial evaluating NSAID use in pediatric patients with long-bone fractures are presented in Scientific Poster P262, on display in Academy Hall.

The study involved 81 skeletally immature patients with a long-bone fracture who were randomized to receive either acetaminophen (control) or ibuprofen (NSAID) for post-fracture pain management. Patients in both groups received oxycodone for breakthrough pain. Patients were evaluated with physical exam, visual analog pain score, and radiographs at all follow-up visits.

Of the 81 patients, 78 (control = 45, NSAID = 33) had completed 6 months of follow-up. Patients in both groups were similar with respect to age, gender, height, weight, and body mass index. 

Healing was documented at a mean of 44 days in the control group and 42 days in the NSAID group (P = 0.58). The mean number of days breakthrough oxycodone was used was 2.5 days in the control group and 2 days in the NSAID group. The researchers found no statistically significant differences in pain scores between the groups at any time point (Table 1).

Based on the results, the authors conclude that NSAID use does not impair long-bone fracture healing in skeletally immature patients and can be a useful alternative for pain control in the acute fracture setting.                                

Authors of “Effect of NSAID Use in the Acute Phase of Skeletally Immature Bone Healing: A Prospective, Randomized Study” are Julia Vetter Nuelle, MD; Kelsie Coe; James L. Cook, DVM, PhD; Daniel G. Hoernschemeyer, MD; and Sumit Gupta, MD.

Details of the authors’ disclosure as submitted to the Orthopaedic Disclosure Program can be found in the Final Program; the most current disclosure information may be accessed electronically at www.aaos.org/disclosure