The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons | 27 May 2016
JK Eichinger, TP Balog and JA Grassbaugh
Historically, management of displaced midshaft clavicle fractures has consisted of nonsurgical treatment. However, recent literature has supported surgical repair of displaced and shortened clavicle fractures. Multiple options exist for surgical fixation, including plate and intramedullary (IM) fixation. IM fixation has the potential advantages of a smaller incision and decreased dissection and soft-tissue exposure. For the last two decades, the use of Rockwood and Hagie pins represented the most popular form of IM fixation, but concerns exist regarding stability and complications. The use of alternative IM implants, such as Kirschner wires, titanium elastic nails, and cannulated screws, also has been described in limited case series. However, concerns persist regarding the complications associated with the use of these implants, including implant failure, migration, skin complications, and construct stability. Second-generation IM implants have been developed to reduce the limitations of earlier IM devices. Although anatomic and clinical studies have supported IM fixation of midshaft clavicle fractures, further research is necessary to determine the optimal fixation method.
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