JOURNAL ARTICLE

Clinical outcomes of midclavicular fractures treated with titanium elastic nails

Yun-feng Chen, Bing-fang Zeng, Yu-jie Chen, Hai-ming Wang, Jian-feng Xue, Yi-min Chai, Xue-tao Xie, Chi Zhang
Canadian Journal of Surgery. Journal Canadien de Chirurgie 2010, 53 (6): 379-84
21092430

BACKGROUND: Midclavicular fractures are common clinically, accounting for about 76% of all clavicular fractures. Recent studies have revealed a previously unrecognized incidence of nonunion and malunion after conservative treatment of more severe midclavicular fractures. Our aim was to evaluate the clinical outcomes of midclavicular fractures treated with titanium elastic nails.

METHODS: From February 2005 to February 2007, 41 patients with displaced midclavicular fractures received open reduction and internal fixation with a titanium elastic nail inserted through the sternal end of the clavicle. We evaluated the visual analogue scale (VAS), the Constant score and the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) scale to determine outcomes.

RESULTS: A mean follow-up of 14.5 months (range 7-24 mo) revealed radiographic fracture union in all patients with an average clinical healing time of 2.2 months. Mean subjective pain 3 days after surgery was significantly lower than the day before surgery (p < 0.001). The mean range of motion 3 days after surgery was significantly improved compared with the day before surgery (p < 0.001). The nails were removed in all patients a mean of 7.2 months (range 5.4-9.5 mo) after surgery, and no fractures recurred. The mean postoperative DASH score was 2.5 (range 0.5-8.0) and the mean postoperative Constant score was 95.2 (range 86.5-97.0).

CONCLUSION: Limited open reduction and internal fixation with titanium elastic nails is a safe and minimally invasive surgical procedure for the treatment of displaced midclavicular fractures in adults and achieves good functional results and high patient satisfaction.

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