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Acute management of clavicle fractures. A long term functional outcome study.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term results after acute treatment of clavicle fractures. We reviewed 139 patients with an average age of 39.3 years (range: 18 to 74) who sustained a clavicle fracture either isolated or as part of a polytrauma. Besides demographic data, both clinical result and residual symptoms were also recorded. The average follow-up was 7.2 years (range: 4 to 13). The fracture showed a higher prevalence in young men and older women. The most frequent mechanism of injury was a fall (39.6%) and coexisting injuries were found in 12.9% of patients. Conservatively treated fractures united in 96.9% of cases and the time to union was no different with a sling or figure-of-eight bandage. Fracture location did not influence the functional outcome. One third of patients were still complaining of mild pain and discomfort during overhead activities and polytrauma patients had a lower Constant score.

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