[Use of titanium elastic intramedullary nails in the treatment of adult midshaft clavicular fractures: technical skills, precautions and complications]

Wei Zhang, Qing-yu Chen, Dong-quan Kou, Shao-wen Cheng, Jing-kai Zhao, Ying-jie Qi, Lei Peng
Zhongguo Gu Shang, China Journal of Orthopaedics and Traumatology 2012, 25 (4): 274-7

OBJECTIVE: To discuss surgical skills,precautions and complications of using titanium elastic intramedullary nails in the treatment of adult midshaft clavicular fractures and evaluate the therapeutic efficacy.

METHODS: From June 2006 to January 2009, 28 patients with completely displaced midshaft clavicular fractures (15 simple fractures, 8 wedge fractures and 5 comminuted fractures) were enrolled in the study,included 19 males and 9 females with a mean age of 39.0 years (range 19-67 years). The injury was on the left side in 14 cases and on the right side in 14 cases. The mean course of disease was 2.9 days. The shoulders of the patients were swollen, deformed and disabled before operation. X-rays revealed complete displacement of the clavicle. The mean clavicular shortening after injury was 6.76% vs. that measured after bone healing. The Constant-Murley Shoulder Scoring System was used to assess shoulder function, and the DASH Score was used to assess the disability degree of the upper arm.

RESULTS: Closed operation with titanium elastic intramedullary nails was undertaken in 26 cases, and open reduction was performed in the remaining two cases. Satisfactory reduction was achieved in all patients, who were followed up for a mean of 10 months (range 6-15 months). The mean union time was 11.5 weeks. No severe complication occurred in any patient. The mean clavicular shortening after bone healing was 3.38%, which was significantly different as compared with the mean clavicular shortening after injury. Constant-Murley Shoulder Score was (97.0 +/- 4.2), and DASH score was (3.4 +/- 4.8). Anatomical reduction, functional recovery and appearance were satisfactory in all patients.

CONCLUSION: Treatment of adult midshaft clavicular fractures with titanium elastic intramedullary nails is advantageous and may prove to be an alternative option for nonsurgical treatment and plate osteosynthesis of midshaft clavicular fractures in adults.

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