Closed-Loop Double Endobutton Technique for Repair of Unstable Distal Clavicle Fractures

Steven Struhl, Theodore S Wolfson
Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine 2016, 4 (7): 2325967116657810

BACKGROUND: Displaced fractures of the distal clavicle are inherently unstable and lead to nonunion in a high percentage of cases. The optimal surgical management remains controversial.

HYPOTHESIS: Indirect osteosynthesis with a closed-loop double endobutton construct would result in reliable fracture union and obviate the need for additional surgery.

STUDY DESIGN: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

METHODS: Eight patients with an acute unstable Neer type IIB distal clavicle fracture were treated with a closed-loop double endobutton implant. Mean follow-up averaged 3.4 years (range, 1-9 years). Two patients were lost to follow-up. The remaining 6 patients underwent a detailed functional and radiologic evaluation.

RESULTS: Definitive fracture healing was achieved in all patients. There were no complications, and no patients required additional surgery related to the index procedure. The mean Constant score was 97 at final follow-up.

CONCLUSION: The closed-loop double endobutton technique was reliable and effective in achieving fracture union in all patients with unstable Neer type IIB fractures of the distal clavicle. This technique obviates the need for late hardware removal that is often necessary when direct osteosynthesis is used and avoids potential complications associated with coracoclavicular cerclage constructs that require knot fixation.

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