Conservative treatment of fractures of the clavicle.

Department of Clinical Methodology and Medical-Surgical Technologies - Orthopaedics Section, University General Hospital, Piazza G,Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy. .
BMC Research Notes 09/2011; 4:333. DOI: 10.1186/1756-0500-4-333
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In the treatment of clavicle fractures, the choice of procedure depends on the possibility of restoring the anatomical functional integrity of the shoulder.
We examined 71 patients (51 males and 20 females, mean age 38.9 years) who were affected by clavicle fracture sequelae. Demographic and clinical data and the site of the lesion were recorded for each partecipant. The dissatisfaction of the patient was determined by the presence of 1 or more affirmative answers on the Simple Shoulder Test. The Constant Shoulder Score was also included in the functional and clinical exams. We measured the length of the healthy clavicle and the previously fractured clavicle, and we expressed the difference in length in mm and in percentage shortening. We then examined the correlations between the shortening of the bone and the clinical and functional outcomes of the patients.
Sixty patients had a lesion of the diaphysis, 8 patients had a lesion of the lateral third of the clavicle, and 3 patients had a lesion of the medial third of the clavicle. The mean Constant Shoulder Score was 77.9, and 51 of the 71 patients were satisfied with their treatment. Radiography showed a mean clavicle shortening of 10 mm (mean percentage 6.5%). In the 20 dissatisfied patients, the mean clavicle shortening was 15.2 mm (9.7%). In these patients, we found a highly significant association between dissatisfaction with treatment and the amount of bone shortening, (p < 0.0001), as well as with a diaphyseal location (p < 0.05) and with the female sex (p = 0.004). No other variable related to the patient, the type of treatment or the fracture characteristics correlated with the treatment outcome.
In the literature, measurements of the shortening of the bone segment following a fracture range between 15 and 23 mm, and marked shortening is correlated with the failure of conservative treatment. However, these data need to be reinterpreted in light of the physiological variability of the clavicle length, which ranges from 140 to 158 mm in the healthy population. Shortening of the bone by more than 9.7% should be the cut-off for predicting failure of conservative treatment.

Download full-text


Available from: Angela Notarnicola, Jul 01, 2015
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Recently acromioclavicular joint reconstruction techniques have focused on anatomic restoration of the coracoclavicular (CC) ligaments. Such techniques involve creating bone tunnels in the distal clavicle and coracoid. To define the anatomy of the human clavicle and coracoid process of the scapula, in order to guide surgeons in reconstructing the CC ligaments. Descriptive laboratory study. One hundred twenty (60 paired) cadaveric clavicles and corresponding scapulae (mean age +/- and standard deviation, 48.3 +/- 16.6 years) devoid of soft tissue were analyzed (dry osteology). Differences related to race and sex were recorded. Nineteen fresh-frozen cadaveric clavicles with intact CC ligaments were measured as well (fresh anatomic). The mean clavicle length was 149 +/- 9.1 mm. In the dry osteology group, the distance from the lateral edge of the clavicle to the medial edge of the conoid tuberosity in male and female specimens was 47.2 +/- 4.6 mm and 42.8 +/- 5.6 mm, respectively (P = .006). The distance to the center of the trapezoid tuberosity was 25.4 +/- 3.7 mm in males and 22.9 +/- 3.7 mm in females (P = .04). The ratio of the distance to the medial edge of the conoid tuberosity divided by clavicle length was 0.31 in males and females. This ratio for the trapezoid was 0.17 in both sexes. The mean coracoid length was 45.2 +/- 4.1 mm. The mean width and height of the coracoid process were 24.9 +/- 2.5 mm and 11.9 +/- 1.8 mm, respectively. No interracial differences in measurements were observed. In the fresh anatomic samples, the ratio of the distance to the conoid center to clavicle length was 0.24. This ratio for the trapezoid was 0.17. While absolute differences in the origin of the CC ligaments exist between men and women, the ratio of these origins to total clavicle length is constant. Clavicle length can be obtained intraoperatively. These findings allow the surgeon to predict the origin of the conoid and trapezoid ligaments accurately and to correctly create bone tunnels to reconstruct the anatomy of the CC complex.
    The American Journal of Sports Medicine 06/2007; 35(5):811-7. DOI:10.1177/0363546506297536 · 4.70 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Nonoperative treatment is preferred for clavicular fractures irrespective of fracture and patient characteristics. However, recent studies indicate that long term results are not as favourable as previously considered. We have identified predictive risk factors associated with demographic and baseline data on clavicular fractures. In particular, the following symptoms were investigated: pain at rest, pain during activity, cosmetic defects, reduction in strength, paresthesia and nonunion until 6 months after injury. We followed 222 patients with a radiographically verified fracture of the clavicle, and who were at least 15 years of age, for 6 months. Nonunion occurred in 15 patients (7%). 93 patients (42%) still had sequelae at 6 months. Displacement of more than one bone width was the strongest radiographic risk factor for symptoms and sequelae. Both radiographic projections used in this study (0 degree and 45 degrees tilted view) provided important information. A comminute fracture and higher age were associated with an increased risk of symptoms remaining at 6 months. Shortening was not predictive of functional outcome; nor was the site of the fracture in the clavicle. The risk for persistent symptoms following nonoperative treatment of clavicular fractures was far higher than expected. Based on these findings it seems reasonable to explore the possibly use of alternative treatment options including surgery for certain clavicular fracture types.
    Acta Orthopaedica 09/2005; 76(4):496-502. DOI:10.1080/17453670510041475 · 2.45 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the long-term results after acute treatment of clavicle fractures. We reviewed 139 patients with an average age of 39.3 years (range: 18 to 74) who sustained a clavicle fracture either isolated or as part of a polytrauma. Besides demographic data, both clinical result and residual symptoms were also recorded. The average follow-up was 7.2 years (range: 4 to 13). The fracture showed a higher prevalence in young men and older women. The most frequent mechanism of injury was a fall (39.6%) and coexisting injuries were found in 12.9% of patients. Conservatively treated fractures united in 96.9% of cases and the time to union was no different with a sling or figure-of-eight bandage. Fracture location did not influence the functional outcome. One third of patients were still complaining of mild pain and discomfort during overhead activities and polytrauma patients had a lower Constant score.
    Acta orthopaedica Belgica 07/2008; 74(3):303-7. · 0.57 Impact Factor