The long-term outcome of displaced mid-third clavicle fractures on scapular and shoulder function: variations between immediate surgery, delayed surgery, and nonsurgical management

D. George, Bartholomew McKay, Ruurd Jaarsma

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Background: Conservative management for uncomplicated displaced clavicle fractures is common practice. Delay of surgical fixation may result in less favorable outcomes. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted of 60 patients with a closed mid-third clavicle fracture that did not meet current operative or nonoperative guidelines; 20 primary (plate fixation <6weeks), 20 delayed (plate fixation >6weeks), and 20 matched conservative patients were included. Each patient completed 2 questionnaires, the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand and the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons, as well as visual analog scales for pain, cosmetic satisfaction, and overall satisfaction. In addition, 10 patients from each group underwent clinical review of scapular rotation by the lateral scapular slide test, clinical impingement, range of motion assessment, and radiologic review of clavicle union and length. Results: The American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons patient self-reported questionnaire demonstrated a median score of 5.5 for the delayed group, 2 for the primary group, and 1 for the conservative group (. P=.032). The median Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder, and Hand score was 7.92 for the delayed group, 3.32 for the primary group, and 1.67 for the conservative group (. P=.212). Six patients in the delayed group had scapular malrotation compared with 2 in the primary group and none in the conservative group (. P=.008). Flexion and external rotation in 90° abduction were decreased in the conservative group (. P=.049 and .041, respectively). Conclusion: We support the conservative management of uncomplicated displaced clavicle fractures but recognize that a lower threshold for early surgery should be considered where optimal shoulder function is required.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)669-676
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
    Volume24
    Issue number5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2015

    Keywords

    • Clavicle
    • Delay
    • Fracture
    • Function
    • Level III
    • Mid-third
    • Outcome
    • Retrospective Cohort Design
    • Scapular
    • Treatment Study

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