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Open Reduction and Tunneled Suspensory Device Fixation of Displaced Lateral-End Clavicular Fractures: Medium-Term Outcomes and Complications After Treatment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1335-1341
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bone and Joint Surgery-American Volume
Issue number15
Early online date7 Aug 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 7 Aug 2019


BACKGROUND: Fractures of the lateral aspect of the clavicle with complete displacement have a high nonunion rate and are associated with poor functional outcomes following nonoperative treatment. Various techniques are available to treat these fractures, but preliminary studies of open reduction and tunneled suspensory device (ORTSD) fixation have shown good early functional outcomes with a low rate of complications; our goal was to assess the functional outcomes and complications in the medium term in a larger series of patients treated using this technique.

METHODS: Sixty-seven patients with displaced lateral-end clavicular fractures were treated with ORTSD fixation. Outcome was assessed with the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire and the Oxford shoulder score at 6 weeks and 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively. Fifty-five of 64 surviving patients were subsequently contacted at a mean of 69 months (range, 27 to 120 months) postoperatively to complete DASH and Oxford shoulder scores, to evaluate their overall level of satisfaction, and to document any further complications.

RESULTS: At 1 year postoperatively, the mean Oxford shoulder score was 46.4 points and the mean DASH score was 2.4 points in 59 of the 67 patients assessed at this time interval. At the later follow-up (mean, 69 months), the mean Oxford shoulder score was 46.5 points and the mean DASH score was 2.2 points in the 55 surviving patients who were able to be contacted. There were no significant differences between the 1-year functional scores and those at the latest follow-up. Two patients developed a symptomatic nonunion requiring reoperation, and 2 patients developed an asymptomatic fibrous union not requiring a surgical procedure. The 5-year survival when considering only obligatory revision for implant-related complications was 97.0%.

CONCLUSIONS: ORTSD fixation for isolated displaced lateral-end clavicular fractures in medically fit patients is associated with good functional outcomes and a low rate of complications in the medium term. Routine implant removal was not necessary.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

ID: 120426307