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Orthopaedics & Traumatology: Surgery & Research
Sous presse. Epreuves corrigées par l'auteur. Disponible en ligne depuis le mardi 3 avril 2018
Doi : 10.1016/j.otsr.2018.01.013
Received : 3 May 2017 ;  accepted : 15 January 2018
Are commercially-available precontoured anatomical clavicle plating systems offering the purported superior optimum fitting to the clavicle? A cadaveric analysis and review of literature

D.E. Bauer a, , A. Hingsammer a, P. Schenk a, L. Vlachopoulos b, M.A. Imam a, P. Fürnstahl b, D.C. Meyer a
a Department of Orthopaedics, Balgrist University Hospital, University of Zurich, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland 
b Computer Assisted Research and Development Group, Balgrist University Hospital, 8008 Zurich, Switzerland 

Corresponding author.

The indication for operative treatment of displaced midshaft clavicle fractures remains controversial. However, if plate fixation is considered, implant prominence and skin irritation are the most common causes for re-operation. Low profile implants as well as closely contouring plates to the individual anatomy may reduce these complications. The aim of this study was to compare the fitting accuracy and implant prominence of 3.5mm pelvic reconstruction plates (PRP) with pre-contoured anatomical clavicle plates (PACP) for midshaft clavicle fractures.


Three-dimensional data of the largest, median and smallest male and female clavicle of an existing database of 89 cadaveric clavicles were included for analysis. A three-dimensional model of a commercially available PACP was used for digitally positioning of the plate on the segmented clavicles. Three-dimensional printouts of each clavicle were produced and the 3.5mm reconstruction plates were manually bent and positioned by the senior author. Computed tomography scans and three-dimensional reconstructions were then obtained to digitally compare the fitting accuracy and implant prominence.


Pelvic reconstruction plates offered superior fitting accuracy and lower implant prominence compared to PACP. The largest difference in implant prominence was observed in large sized female clavicles and measured 3.6mm.


Both, the less costly PRP plates and commercially available PACP for midshaft fractures of the clavicle demonstrated a clinically acceptable fitting accuracy. The manually bent pelvic-reconstruction plates demonstrated reduced implant prominence with superior fitting. Hypothetically this might contribute to a reduced rate of reoperation.

Level of evidence

Level IV cadaveric study.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Keywords : Clavicle, Fracture, Midshaft, Reconstruction plate, Three-dimensional

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