Ralte, P, Grant, S, Withers, D, …Waseem, M

Intramedullary fixation of diaphyseal clavicle fractures using the Rockwood clavicle pin: a review of 68 cases

P Ralte,  S GrantD WithersR WaltonS MorapudiR BassiJ Fischer and M Waseembone_and_joint
Orthopaedic Proceedings: The Bone and Joint Journal 2012 – bjjprocs.boneandjoint.org.uk
Purpose Plating remains the most widely employed method for the fixation of displaced diaphyseal clavicle fractures. The purpose of this study was to assess the efficacy and outcomes of diaphyseal clavicle fractures treated with intramedullary fixation using the Rockwood clavicle pin.

Methods We conducted a retrospective analysis of all diaphyseal clavicle fractures treated with intramedullary fixation using the Rockwood pin between February 2004 and March 2010. Sixty-eight procedures were carried out on 67 patients. Functional outcome was assessed using the Disability of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire and an overall patient satisfaction questionnaire.

Results There were 52 (77.6%) male and 15 (22.4%) female patients with an average age of 35.8 years. In 35 (51.5%) cases the injury was located on the dominant side. Fractures were classified according to the Edinburgh system with the commonest configuration being the Type 2B1 (47, 69.1%). The indications for fixation were; acute management of displaced fractures (56, 82.4%), delayed union (2, 2.9%), nonunion (8, 11.8%) and malunion (2, 2.9%). The average time to pin removal was 3.7 months and the average follow-up prior to discharge was 6.9 months. Sixty-six (97.1%) fractures united without consequence. Two (2.9%) cases of non-union were treated with repeat fixation using a contoured plate and bone graft. The most common problem encountered postoperatively was discomfort due to subcutaneous pin prominence posteriorly (12, 17.6%) which resolved following removal of the metalwork. The average DASH score was 6.04 (0–60) and 96.4% of patients rated their satisfaction with the procedure as good to excellent.

Conclusion Due to its minimally invasive technique, cosmetically favourable scar, preservation of periosteal tissue, avoidance of stress risers associated with screw removal and good clinical outcomes, the use of this device is the preferred method of treatment for displaced diaphyseal clavicle fractures in our hospital.

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