A Meta-Analysis of the Supracondylar Process of the Humerus with Clinical and Surgical Applications to Orthopedics

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Guilherm Otto Martin-Schütz; Mauricio Arcoverde; Gustavo dos Reis Barros; Marcio Antonio Babinski; Jorge Henrique Martins Manaia; Celso Ricardo Corrêa de Mello Silva; Carlos Alberto Araujo Chagas & Lucas Alves Sarmento Pires


The supracondylar process is a hook shaped projection of the humerus. It is located superior to its medial epicondyle. This anatomic variation is often presented together with the Struther’s ligament, a fibrous arcade that connects the supracondylar process to the medial epicondyle. Both structures have been associated with neurovascular bundle compression on the distal third of the arm, as the median and ulnar nerves and the brachial and ulnar arteries may pass through the osteofibrous canal that these variants create. The SciElo, Pubmed, Scopus, TRIP, MEDLINE, COCHRANE and ScienceDirect databases were searched with the term “supracondylar process” or “supracondyloid process” with the purpose of performing a meta-analysis of this bony spur. Heterogeneity between studies was evaluated using I2 estimation and the Cochran Q statistic test. A random effect model was used for all analysis. A total of twenty articles (26.415 humeri) were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled prevalence of the supracondylar process was 0.68 % (95 % Confidence Interval: 0.47 % to 0.92 %). This variant was more commonly found in women than in men (statistically significant difference) and more commonly found on the left side than the right. The presence of the supracondylar process alone may induce neurovascular bundle compression. It can also be injured in traumatic or stress fractures. Knowledge of this variation and its prevalence may reduce misdiagnosis in radiographic images.

KEY WORDS: Supracondylar process; Anatomical variation; Supracondylar process fracture; Humerus.

How to cite this article

MARTIN-SCHÜTZ, G. O.; ARCOVERDE, M.; BARROS, R. G.; BABINSKI, M. A.; MANAIA, M. J. H.; SILVA, C. R. C. M.; CHAGAS, C. A. A. & PIRES, L. A. S. A meta-analysis of the supracondylar process of the humerus with clinical and surgical applications to orthopedics. Int. J. Morphol., 37(1): 43-47, 2019.