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24.05.2017 | Original Article • SHOULDER - FRACTURES | Ausgabe 8/2017

European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology 8/2017

Innovative use of single-incision internal fixation of distal clavicle fractures augmented with coracoclavicular stabilisation

European Journal of Orthopaedic Surgery & Traumatology > Ausgabe 8/2017
Rajpal Nandra, Tomasz Kowalski, Socrates Kalogrianitis



The management of displaced fractures of the distal clavicle remains controversial, particularly in younger patients where there is no consensus as to which surgical intervention is best. Each surgical method has unique surgical complications and rates of persistent pain and post-traumatic arthritis. We report an innovative surgical technique using a plate fixation augmented with minimally invasive tension slide coracoclavicular fixation using a cortical tenodesis button (8.5 mm).


A single-surgeon series, comprising of eleven cases, underwent retrospective review. A low-profile pre-contoured stainless steel plate that combines locking and non-locking options was used. Secondary fixation to the coracoid, through the plate, was achieved under fluoroscopic guidance eliminating the need for arthroscopy or exposure of the coracoid. An 8.5-mm cortical button loaded with a single FiberTape is inserted with fluoroscopic navigation, flipped under the coracoid and fixed to the plate. Patients followed a standardised rehabilitation protocol and clinical review assessing time to union, complications and Oxford Shoulder Scores.


The mean age of the patients was 40 years, 82% male. The majority were day-case admissions with a mean follow-up of 18 months. Although a single patient requested plate removal due to lateral prominance, there were no revisions for implant failure and no surgical site infections or neurovascular injuries. All patients were reviewed at a minimum of 17 weeks and were progressing to union. Mean Oxford Shoulder Score was 43 (28–48, SD 6.5).


We consider this technique ideal for treating Neer type II distal clavicle fractures or fractures that have poor bone quality laterally, in which it can be difficult to achieve adequate screw fixation. The technique benefits from smaller tunnel diameter (3.7-mm spade-tip drill) and button length (8.5 mm). The procedure has a short learning curve and is both safe and time efficient.

Level of evidence


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