Symptomatic Implant Removal Following Dual Mini-Fragment Plating for Clavicular Shaft Fractures

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Abstract

Objectives:

To determine the proportion of patients requiring secondary surgery for symptomatic implant removal after open reduction, internal fixation using dual mini-fragment plating technique for clavicular shaft fractures.

Design:

Retrospective observational study.

Setting:

Single university Level 1 trauma center.

Patients:

Eighty-one patients treated with open reduction, internal fixation using dual mini-fragment plating technique for clavicular shaft fractures (OTA/AO 15-B1, B2, and B3) with minimum 12-month follow-up (median 477 days; range 371–1549 days).

Intervention:

Open reduction, internal fixation using dual mini-fragment plating technique for clavicular shaft fractures.

Main Outcome Measurements:

Incidence of secondary surgery, QuickDASH (Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand) scores.

Results:

Six of 81 patients (7.4%) underwent secondary surgery for implant removal for any reason. Of these, 3 (3.7%) underwent symptomatic implant (soft-tissue irritation) removal, 2 (2.5%) required implant removal in the setting of infection, and 1 patient (1.2%) required revision open reduction internal fixation for early implant failure. The mean QuickDASH score in this series was 8.44 (±6.94, range 0–77.27). The associated implant cost of the typical construct utilized in this series was $1511.38. The mean surgical time was 97 minutes (range 71–143 minutes).

Conclusions:

The utilization of a dual mini-fragment plating technique in the treatment of clavicular shaft fractures results in a low rates of secondary surgery for symptomatic implant removal (3.7%) and similar QuickDASH scores when compared with historical controls treated with 3.5-mm plates placed on the superior clavicle. Potential disadvantages in using this technique include a higher surgical implant cost and length of surgery.

Level of Evidence:

Therapeutic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

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