Displaced Clavicle Fractures in Cyclists: Return to Athletic Activity After Anteroinferior Plate Fixation

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Abstract

Background:

One of the most commonly observed injuries in cycling is fracture of the clavicle. Nevertheless, there is limited literature available on clinical outcomes after plate fixation of clavicle fractures in cyclists, rehabilitation protocols, and the time to return to sports.

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to evaluate the functional outcome, complications, and return to athletic activity at short-term follow-up after surgical repair.

Study Design:

Case series.

Methods:

Between January 2008 and October 2014, all professional and recreational cyclists presenting with a new clavicle fracture at the emergency department were prospectively recorded. All patients had an anteroinferior plate fixation, variable angle locking compression plate (DePuySynthes). Patients were seen at 2, 6, and 24 weeks at the outpatient clinic to gather Disability of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand (DASH) and Constant shoulder questionnaires and radiographs were made. Cyclists were allowed to resume outside training 1 week after surgery.

Results:

Ten professional cyclists and 15 recreational cyclists were included. All (25/25) patients returned to cycling after plate fixation. Mean Constant scores and mean DASH scores of 96.8 ± 4.1 and 5.1 ± 5.5 at 6 weeks and 99.1 ± 1.5 and 2.9 ± 4.6 at 24 weeks were measured. There were 3 complications: 1 patient developed a nonunion, there was 1 wound infection requiring antibiotics, and in 1 patient, a refracture occurred.

Conclusion:

Plate fixation for cyclists with displaced clavicle fractures was successful in terms of fast return to previous level of athletic activity. It is a valuable and safe option for athletes in cycling.

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