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A Comparative Study of Conservative and Surgical Management of Displaced Midshaft Clavicle Fracture

Vol 5 | Issue 1 | Jan-April 2019 | page: 23-27 | Niraj Ranjan, Arvind Agarwal, Atul Garg

Author: Niraj Ranjan [1], Arvind Agarwal [1], Atul Garg [1]

[1] Department of Orthopaedics , Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, New Delhi

Address of Correspondence
Dr. Niraj Ranjan,
Department of Orthopaedics , Maharaja Agrasen Hospital, New Delhi
E-mail: niraj.ranjan333@gmail.com


Introduction: Since long, closed midshaft clavicle fractures, whether undisplaced or displaced, have been treated conservatively with figure of “8” bandage and sling. However, in the past few decades, management trends show an uprise in surgical management of displaced midshaft clavicle fracture with rigid internal fixation providing early pain relief and avoiding deformity, non-union (NU), and sequelae.
Materials and Methods: A total of 60 patients with displaced midshaft clavicle fracture were included in the study. Patients were randomly allocated to the non-operative and operative group with 30 patients in each group. Non-operative management was performed with clavicle brace (figure of 8 bandage) while open reduction internal fixation with plate fixation was the preferred operative treatment. Patients were followed up at 2, 4, and 6 weeks and then at 3, 6, and 12 months. Outcome analysis included standard clinical follow-up, the constant shoulder (CS) score and the disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) score, and plain radiographs. Statistical analysis was done using Student’s “t” test and SPSS software. The results were considered to be significant at P < 0.05.
Results: There was a statistically significant difference in functional outcome between the two groups at 3-month follow-up (CS; P = 0.0469 and DASH; P = 0.0406), though no such difference was recorded at 1-year follow-up (CS; P = 0.2731 and DASH; P = 0.4915). It implies that the patients in operative group improved functionally and returned to normal activities earlier than the non-operative group. Even patient satisfaction regarding shoulder appearance (cosmesis) was more in the operative group (100%) than in non-operative group (60%). The complications were more in the non-operative group (23), such as symptomatic malunion in 2 cases (8%), NU in 5 cases (20%), shortening in 3 cases (12%), and muscle wasting in 2 cases (8%), whereas only four complications were recorded in the operative group, of which two were implant related.
Conclusion: Surgical management of displaced midshaft clavicle fracture has definite short-term benefits with respect to functional outcome, early return to preinjury activities, and a lower rate of malunion and NU. Furthermore, due to difficulties of non-operative treatment including pain and instability at fracture site, tightness of clavicle brace, difficulties in self-hygiene, and high percentage of NU, especially in high-energy fractures; operative treatment is a good option in displaced midshaft clavicle fracture, especially in active adult patients.
Keywords: Clavicle fracture, Conservative management, Surgical management.


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How to Cite this article: Ranjan N, Agarwal A, Garg A. A Comparative Study of Conservative and Surgical Management of Displaced Midshaft Clavicle Fracture. Trauma International Jan – Apr 2019;5(1):23-27

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