JOURNAL ARTICLE

Elastic stable intramedullary nailing of midclavicular fractures in adults: 32 patients followed for 1-5 years

Marcus Mueller, Christof Burger, Andreas Florczyk, Nadine Striepens, Christoph Rangger
Acta Orthopaedica 2007, 78 (3): 421-3
17611858

BACKGROUND: Osteosynthesis of clavicular fractures is sometimes indicated. Since plate fixation may lead to complications, we have used elastic stable intramedullary nailing and report our experience of midclavicular fractures in 32 adults.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: From 2000 to 2005, we treated 32 adults (26 men), median age 40 (19-66) years, by intramedullary nailing with a titanium elastic nail (TEN). All patients were re-examined after median 27 (12-59) months.

RESULTS: Nonunion was not observed. 20 clavicles healed without shortening. 12 clavicles healed with shortening of more than 5 mm. Migration of the TEN in 8 patients required secondary shortening of the nail in 5 of them. Nail breakage after fracture healing was observed twice. The nails were removed in 29 patients after a median of 6 (1.3-15) months postoperatively. No patient sustained a re-fracture after TEN removal. The mean Constant score was 95 (SD 1.9) points and the mean DASH score was 5 (SD 2.3) points.

INTERPRETATION: Intramedullary stabilization of midclavicular fractures with a titanium elastic nail is a minimally invasive technique with good cosmetic and functional results. Intramedullary fixation can be seen as an alternative to plate fixation and nonoperative treatment.

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