Abstract An audit of 32 displaced supracondylar fractures of the humerus in children treated at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary between June 1990 and September 1992 was carried out. Six fractures were classified as Grade 2 (one cortex intact) and 26 were Grade 3 (no cortical contact). All grade 2 fractures were treated non-operatively with good results. Relatively poor results were obtained when displaced fractures were treated non-operatively with manipulation and plaster immobilization. Seven patients underwent manipulation and percutaneous pinning but two developed a cubitus varus deformity. Open reduction and internal fixation with two K-wires gave the best results with no deformity in ten patients. We therefore conclude that this is the optimal method of treatment in a hospital which deals with relatively few completely displaced fractures, with the cosmetic appearance of the scar being minimized by a medial approach.