Hardware is used to correct clavicle fracture if they are significantly displaced or comminuted.
Clavicle ORIF (Open Reduction and Internal Fixation)
Surgical management of midshaft clavicle fractures is usually warranted when there is >15mm of significant shortening, 100% displacement, or significant comminution, especially in pediatric patients involved in high demand activities. It has been shown that in pediatric patients 10 years and older with these fracture patterns the use of an elastic stable intramedullary nail leads to less pain during recovery, increased patient satisfaction, and less time immobilized.
There are two options to consider when surgical management is decided. The first is fixing the bone with a plate and screws that lie on top of the bone. This will provide a secure and adequate reduction, although it does require stripping of muscle off the bone where the plate will rest. The plate and screws also require an extensive incision over a the majority of the clavicle so it can be positioned properly. The patient may be able to feel the plate after surgery and it can potentially be bothersome when wearing a backpack, purse, or anything that puts pressure on the collarbone. A clavicle plate may often times need to be removed with a second surgery due to the irritation it causes. Despite the drawbacks of using a clavicle plate and screws it may be the best option if the fracture is significantly comminuted or in multiple pieces.
The second option is fixing the bone with a clavicle nail. A clavicle nail sits inside the bone in the intramedullary canal. This eliminates the need to strip down muscle overlying the clavicle. The surgery is done through three small incisions. The hardware is placed inside the bone and cannot be felt by the patient after surgery. The clavicle nail also eliminates the irritation that patients sometimes experience from straps and backpacks. The clavicle nail rarely needs to be removed after surgery.
Every Patient Matters
Every patient receives an in-depth consultation to devise a treatment plan that is right for their problem. Our specialists prefer non-operative and non-invasive treatments whenever possible, including physical therapy, medications, and/or injections. When we require surgery, we will then use minimally invasive surgical techniques to fix your problem, whether it is fixing a broken bone or repairing a tendon. Our goal is always to get you back to living your life normally as soon as possible.