Non-union occurs in 5-10% of all fractures and is caused by a variety of mechanical and biological factors. Stable fixation is essential and many authors recommend the addition of bone graft. Our aim was to evaluate the results of internal fixation using Judet decortication and compression plating for long bone fractures and assess the impact of bone grafting on union rates. Our study group comprised all the patients undergoing compression plate fixation under a single surgeon over a fourteen year period (n=96). AO principles were used and the standard technique involved Judet decortication, compression plating and lag screws. Autologous bone graft was harvested from the iliac crest. The mean age was 45 years and 62% were male. The fracture site was the clavicle (n=20); humerus (n=23); radius and ulna (n=5); femur (n=31) and tibia (n=17). The primary fracture treatment was non-operative (n=41); IM nail (n=22); plate fixation (n=28) and external fixation (n=5). Deep infection was present in 6 cases. Bone graft was used in 40 cases. 91/96 non-unions treated with compression plating healed (95%). Bone grafting was used in all cases for the initial part of the series but its use declined as the surgeon became more confident that the non-unions would heal without the use of bone graft. The case mix and complexity remained constant throughout the study period and the union rate also remained constant. The mean time to radiological union was 6.4 months. In those treated with a compression plate without bone graft the union rate was 94.6% whilst the addition of bone graft resulted in a union rate of 95% (p=0.67). From our study we concluded that the routine use of autologous bone graft may not be necessary and, based upon the union rates observed in this study, a prospective randomised study to evaluate the use of bone graft in non-union surgery would need a sample size of 194,000 to detect a significant increase in union with 80% power. In terms of Numbers Needed Treat (NNT), we would need to give 1179 patients a bone graft to prevent one additional failure of healing.
"But others have questioned the systematic use of bone grafts and only use them with atrophic non-unions  . Ramoutar et al.  reported a 100% union rate in 11 patients treated by decortication and compression plate fixation without bone grafting. Huang et al.  treated 51 patients with hypertrophic non-union of the clavicle using LC-DCP plates without bone grafting. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Introduction
The aim of our study was to evaluate the results of surgical treatment of clavicle non-union after failure of conservative treatment. Our hypothesis was that stable fixation with bone graft derived from local bone stock (fracture site) or the iliac crest was essential to achieve bone union.
Material and methods
Twenty-one patients with a symptomatic middle-third clavicle non-union after failure of initial conservative treatment were included in the study. Delay between the initial fracture and surgery for non-union was 27 months (6–144). In five cases, the non-union was hypertrophic and bone graft was obtained locally from the callus. In 16 patients, the non-union was atrophic. Bone was harvested from the iliac crest as cortico-cancellous graft (7 patients) and cancellous graft (8 patients). One patient refused bone grafting. A 3.5-mm plate with non-locking screws was placed anterior in 12 and superior in 9 patients.
At 41 months average follow-up (minimum of 12 months), 20 patients were available for review. Bone healing was obtained initially in 15 cases. Six complications required a revision procedure: 3 for infection and 3 for mechanical failure. At last follow-up, 19 patients were satisfied with the surgery. Average Constant score was 84 ± 26 points (7–100), and Quick DASH score 17 ± 22 points (0–91). Radiographic bone healing was obtained in 19 of the cases.
Treatment of middle-third clavicle non-union after initial failure of conservative treatment with stable fixation and bone graft is a reliable, well-suited and effective treatment. Our hypothesis was verified. Preoperative evaluation of appearance of the non-union X-rays can be used to determine the type of bone graft needed, but the final decision is often taken during surgery.
Level of evidence
Orthopaedics & Traumatology Surgery & Research 04/2014; 100(2). DOI:10.1016/j.otsr.2013.09.011 · 1.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Clavicle fractures are common injuries of the shoulder girdle and occasionally result in nonunion or symptomatic malunion. When present, these chronic injuries can result in considerable shoulder dysfunction. A number of surgical techniques have been described for the management of these injuries. Current literature suggests that supplemental bone grafting may not be necessary in all cases but should be considered in the setting of atrophic nonunion. However, optimal treatment is controversial, as discussed in the literature. This article highlights the current treatment options based on the existing literature and describes our preferred techniques.
We carried out a comprehensive review of the PubMed and Medline databases using multiple keywords (eg, clavicle fracture, clavicle nonunion, and clavicle malunion) to identify the relevant literature regarding this topic. Reference lists of the relevant articles were reviewed for additional important articles.
Nonunion and malunion of the clavicle remain challenging problems. Reliable bony union and improved shoulder function can be expected with thoughtful surgical planning, appropriate implant choice, and meticulous surgical technique.
Journal of shoulder and elbow surgery / American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons ... [et al.] 04/2013; 22(6). DOI:10.1016/j.jse.2013.01.022 · 2.29 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The objective of this study was to evaluate the results achieved after revision with plates of humeral nonunions secondary to failed intramedullary nailing.
We retrospectively evaluated 32 patients with humeral nonunions secondary to failed intramedullary nailing, treated by internal fixation with plates between 1998 and 2012. Nonunions were diaphyseal in 19 cases, they were located in the proximal humeral metaphysis in nine cases, and in the distal humeral metaphysis in four cases. There were 11 atrophic nonunions and 21 oligotrophic nonunions. Initial treatment was performed with static locked nails in 12 cases, nails with expansive locking systems in 11 cases, and using thin elastic nails in nine cases. The nails were placed antegrade in 18 cases and retrograde in 14 cases. Time between initial surgery and revision surgery averaged 14.5 months. In seven diaphyseal nonunions, the intramedullary nail was left in-situ. Bone graft was added in 25 cases.
Follow-up averaged 35 months. Union was achieved in all cases, after an average of 3.8 months. Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) score at last follow-up averaged 14 points, and Constant's score averaged 82 points. The analogue scale of pain averaged 0.8 points. Out of seven patients with radial nerve compromise, six recovered completely and one needed tendon transfers.
Revision with plates after failed intramedullary humeral nailing achieved union and good predictable objective and subjective results in all cases. Adequate implant selection and meticulous surgical technique are necessary to achieve successful osteosynthesis and bony union.
International Orthopaedics 11/2013; 38(4). DOI:10.1007/s00264-013-2180-2 · 2.11 Impact Factor
Data provided are for informational purposes only. Although carefully collected, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. The impact factor represents a rough estimation of the journal's impact factor and does not reflect the actual current impact factor. Publisher conditions are provided by RoMEO. Differing provisions from the publisher's actual policy or licence agreement may be applicable.