Clavicle hook plate fixation for displaced lateral-third clavicle fractures (Neer type II): a functional outcome study

Daniel W Good, Darren F Lui, Michael Leonard, Seamus Morris, John P McElwain
Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery 2012, 21 (8): 1045-8

BACKGROUND: Controversy exists with the use of the acromioclavicular hook plate for the treatment of lateral-third clavicle fractures (Neer type II). This is thought to stem from problems associated with the hook plate causing impingement symptoms, which can cause long-term limitation of movement and pain. Our aim was to evaluate the functional outcomes of patients with lateral-third clavicle fractures treated with the hook plate.

METHODS: We prospectively reviewed all patients who underwent surgery from July 2005 to August 2009 using our prospectively recorded electronic patient information database. All patients were assessed in the clinic to determine both Oxford and Constant shoulder scores.

RESULTS: We identified 36 patients who underwent surgery with the hook plate, 26 men and 10 women. The mean age was 36.2 years (range, 22-60 years). Of the patients, 46% were smokers. The median length of hospital stay was 2 days (interquartile range [IQR], 1-3). The median follow-up was 28 months (IQR, 23-37). The median time from date of injury to surgery was 7 days (IQR, 4-76). The mean time to union was 3 months (IQR, 2-4), and the union rate was 95%. In total, 92% of plates were removed. The median time to removal was 4.5 months (IQR, 3-8.75). There were no complications. Two patients presented months later after falls with fractures around the medial end of the hook plate.

CONCLUSION: Hook plates are an effective form of treatment for lateral third clavicle fractures. The best outcomes occur with plate removal before 6 months postoperatively, provided that the fracture has healed.

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