Surgical Repair of Fractures of the Clavicle
O. Safran, R. Mosheiff, Y. Mattan, M. Liebergall
Orthopedic Dept., Hadassah-University Hospital, Jerusalem
Clavicular fractures make up 45% of shoulder girdle fractures. The clavicle's susceptibility to injury is due to its subcutaneous position and its role as the bony connection between the thorax and the shoulder. In 95% of cases the mechanism of injury is a direct blow to the shoulder. These fractures are usually treated conservatively without surgery. But there are a few such fractures that require surgical repair in order to unite well. 9 patients were operated on for clavicular fractures during 1991-1995. The indications for surgical repair were lateral-third fracture, floating shoulder, neurovascular deficit or nonunion. The methods used were open reduction and fixation with either plate and screws, Kirchner wires, cerclage or a combination. All fractures united well, with no infections or new neurovascular deficits. Good range of shoulder motion and acceptable cosmetic results were achieved in all. 1 patient had functional limitation due to brachial neuritis caused by brachial damage at the time of injury. Indications for surgical repair and the methods used in these cases are similar to those described in the literature. The high rate of union and absence of complications support surgical repair for the few clavicular fractures that are not likely to unite properly.