About the Trial

The SCIENCE Study is a multi-centre prospective randomised superiority trial of operative fixation versus non-operative treatment for medial epicondyle fractures of the humerus.


Current enrolment curve

Target: 334



The Study Team

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Prof Dan Perry

Chief Investigator
Consultant Paediatric Orthopaedic surgeon

Dan has a passion to find the best treatments for children and young people with trauma and orthopaedic problems.

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Mrs Louise Spoors

Trial Manager

Louise manages a suite of children’s trauma trials at the University of Oxford. She was a nurse for many years, and has a real understanding of the challenges of doing clinical trials in hospitals.

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Miss Kinzah Abbasi

Trial administrator

Kinzah is enjoying the challenges that trauma trials in children create, and is keenly contributing to the successful delivery of the SCIENCE study.


Trial Information

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What is Science?

The SCIENCE Study is trying to improve the treatment of children who have a broken bone in the elbow called an ‘epicondyle fracture’. Half of doctors advise to rest the elbow in a cast or splint and allow it to heal by itself, whilst the other half advise surgery to fix the bone. Despite the number of these injuries, doctors are not sure whether one way of treating them is better than the other because it has never been researched.

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This study will compare the two commonly used treatments:

  1. Resting the arm in plaster cast for up to 4 weeks, to allow it to heal by itself.
  2. Surgery to fix the bone, usually with a screw and resting the arm in a splint or cast for up to 4 weeks.
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Study Sponsor

This study is sponsored by The University of Oxford.

ISRCTN ref 16619778

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Study Funder

This study has been funded by the National Institute for Health Research’s Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Programme (ref: 17/18/02).

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Personal Data

We will be using information from children, parents and the medical record in order to undertake this study, and will act as the data controller for this study. This means that we are responsible for looking after the information and using it properly.

It’s important that participants know how we are using their personal data and their rights under law. For more information please visit the link : https://www.hra.nhs.uk/information-about-patients/

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Important things you need to know

Surgeons throughout the UK (and the world) are uncertain about the best way to treat this injury.

Almost every children’s surgeon in the UK has agreed to be part of this study.


Study recruitment sites


South England
North England
Northern Ireland
New Zealand
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