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Minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis for clavicle fractures.

OBJECTIVE: Treatment of comminuted clavicle shaft fractures with minimally invasive plate osteosynthesis (MIPO).

INDICATIONS: Multifragmentary (≥ 2 intermediate fragments) clavicle shaft fractures with no need for anatomical reduction (AO 15.2B and 15.2C). Even simple fractures (AO 15.2A) with significant soft tissue injuries Tscherne grade I-III are suitable.

CONTRAINDICATIONS: Medial or lateral clavicle fractures as well as simple fracture pattern where anatomical reduction is indispensable.

SURGICAL TECHNIQUE: Short incision over the medial and lateral end of the main fracture fragments. Either medial or lateral epiperosteal plate insertion. Under image intensifier guidance, the plate is centered either superior or anteroinferior on the clavicle and fixed with a compression wire temporarily (alternatively by a cortical screw) in one of the most lateral holes. Fracture reduction (axis, length, and rotation) over the plate and preliminary fixation medially. After correct reduction has been achieved, further cortical screws and/or locking head screws can be inserted (lag before locking screws). Relative stability is achieved by applying a bridging technique.

POSTOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT: No immobilization is needed. Patients are encouraged to perform functional rehabilitation with active and passive physical therapy. Loading is increased according to radiological signs of bony consolidation.

RESULTS: In a retrospective evaluation from 2001-2021, 1128 clavicle osteosyntheses were performed, of which 908 (80.5%) were treated with plate osteosynthesis and 220 (19.5%) with titanium elastic nail (TEN). Of the 908 plate osteosyntheses, 43 (4.7%) were performed with the MIPO approach. Finally, 42 patients (35 men and 7 women; mean age of 44 ± 15 years) with 43 clavicle shaft fractures were analyzed. The operation was accomplished in 63 ± 28 min, and average fluoroscopy time was 45 ± 42 s. A collective of 27 patients could be evaluated after a median follow-up of 14 months (range 1-51 months). In all, 26 fractures healed in a timely manner. In 1 patient a pseudarthrosis occurred which was treated with re-osteosynthesis and cancellous bone grafting in an open technique. Another patient revealed a wound complication with need of operative wound revision 6 weeks after the index surgery. Further postoperative course was uneventful in both patients. All were pain-free and able to return to work. After an average of 17 ± 8 months, 18 hardware removals (66.7%) were performed.

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