Bipolar clavicular fractures and treatment options

Kristian J. de Ruiter, Tjibbe J. Gardenbroek, Kelly Bos, Mark van Heijl, Jens A. Halm

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Introduction: Fractures of the clavicle are common injuries, accounting 2.6–4% of all fractures in adults. Of these fractures, 21–28% are lateral clavicle fractures and 2–3% are medial clavicle fractures. Bipolar clavicle fractures are defined as a lateral and medial fracture and are uncommon. There is no consensus on the treatment of these fractures. The aim of this study is to provide a treatment on bipolar clavicle fractures based on the current literature. Methods: The electronic databases PubMed, the Cochrane library and EMBASE were searched up on September 25th, 2017. Two reviewers (KR and TG) independently screened titles and abstracts for their relevance. Studies designed to evaluate the outcomes of conservative and/or operative treatment of segmental bipolar clavicle fractures in adults (> 16 years) were included. Editorials and commentaries were excluded, as well as synthetic, cadaveric and animal studies. Primary outcomes considered were pain reduction and shoulder function. Secondary outcomes considered are complications. Results: Ten studies reporting results from ten patients were included for the review. In most patients, if treated operatively, surgical treatment with the use of double plating was performed. Only in elderly patients conservative treatment was adopted. All included patients were pain free and had a full range of motion after 3–6 months. Only two case reports provided a DASH score, while in eight studies no functional outcome score was measured. Conclusion: A missed bipolar fracture can complicate the clinical progress. Surgical management of these fractures may be necessary; however, the treatment of choice depends on the age of the patient, daily activities and comorbidity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1407-1410
JournalEuropean journal of trauma and emergency surgery
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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