For the fixation of displaced midshaft clavicular fractures different plates are available, each with its specific pros and cons. The ideal plating choice for this lesion remains subject to ongoing discussion. Reconstruction plates are cheap and easily bendable, but their strength and stability have been questioned. The aim of this study was to evaluate the failure rate of reconstruction plates in the fixation of clavicular fractures.
Materials and methods
A multicenter, retrospective cohort study of all consecutive patients with a displaced, midshaft clavicular fracture (Robinson type 2a/2b) treated with a 3.5-mm reconstruction plate between 2006 and 2013 were evaluated. The primary outcome measure was reoperation rate due to implant failure. Secondary outcome measures were nonunion, symptomatic malunion and elective plate removal.
One hundred and eleven patients were analyzed. During a median follow-up of 8 months, 14 patients (12.6%) had implant failure, of which 7 (6.3%) required a reoperation. Three nonunions (2.7%) and no symptomatic malunions occurred. Plate removal was indicated in 37.8% of patients because of implant irritation.
The incidence of reoperation due to implant failure following clavicular plate fixation with a reconstruction plate is 6.3%. Although comparison with other plate types is difficult since rates in literature vary greatly, reoperation rates in other plates are reported around 2–3%, suggesting that reconstruction plates have a higher incidence of implant failure warranting reoperation. Therefore, especially in patients with known risk factors for complications (e.g. smoking, osteoporosis, comminuted fractures), a stronger plate than a reconstruction plate should be considered.
Level of evidence
Level IV. Retrospective study.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Clavicular fracture, Reconstruction plate, Implant failure, Reoperation