Corrective Osteotomy for Symptomatic Clavicle Malunion Using Patient-specific Osteotomy and Reduction Guides

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Abstract

Midshaft clavicular fractures are often treated nonoperatively with good reported clinical outcome in a majority of patients. However, malunion with shortening of the affected clavicle is not uncommon. Shortening of the clavicle has been shown to affect shoulder strength and kinematics with alteration of scapular position. Whereas the exact clinical impact of these factors is unknown, the deformity may lead to cosmetic and functional impairment as for example pain with weight-bearing on the shoulder girdle. Other reported complications of clavicular malunion include thoracic outlet syndrome, subclavicular vein thrombosis, and axillary plexus compression. Corrective osteotomy has therefore been recommended for symptomatic clavicular malunions, generally using plain x-rays for planning the necessary elongation. Particularly in malunited multifragmentary fractures it may be difficult to exactly determine the plane of osteotomy intraoperatively to restore the precise anatomic shape of the clavicle. We present a technique for corrective osteotomy using preoperative computer planning and 3-dimensional printed patient-specific intraoperative osteotomy and reduction guides based on the healthy contralateral clavicle.

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