01.09.2015 | Original Article | Sonderheft 1/2015
Intramedullary clavicle fixation with single large fragmentary screw
- S. G. Krishnan, R. Garofalo, B. Flanagin, A. Castagna
The treatment of clavicle fractures has historically been nonoperative, but several studies have recently shown the merits of operative management for specific fractures patterns. We developed a novel technique utilizing a 6.5-mm cannulated screw for fixation of displaced midshaft clavicle fractures.
Materials and methods
We present 15 consecutive patients treated with this technique between 2007 and 2012. All patients were male, and all 15 suffered a traumatic injury involving a fall directly onto the affected side. Mean time from injury to surgery was 12 days (range 3–24 days). Decision for surgery was based on the displacement and shortening of the fracture, either at least 20 mm of shortening or displacement with no bony apposition. After surgery, all patients were placed in an abduction brace for 6 weeks. No motion was allowed for the first 3 weeks, followed by passive shoulder motion below 90° of forward flexion under the supervision of a therapist for the next 3 weeks.
All 15 patients progressed to union at an average of 5.7 months (range 3–12). Three patients had superficial wound infections. Hardware removal was performed in 6 of the 15 patients at an average of 12 months (range 5–24). All patients regained full range of motion and strength in comparison with contralateral extremity.
This novel technique limits soft tissue stripping. It has the advantages of using an implant familiar to most orthopedists and available in most hospital settings. We believe this technique is ideally suited for transverse fractures patterns, less than 14 days old, in males greater than 180 cm with clavicles large enough to accommodate a 6.5-mm screw.