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Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons:
doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-20-08-498
Review Article

Displaced Clavicle Fractures in Adolescents: Facts, Controversies, and Current Trends

Pandya, Nirav K. MD; Namdari, Surena MD, Msc; Hosalkar, Harish S. MD

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Abstract

There is an increasing trend toward stabilization and fixation of markedly displaced midshaft clavicle fractures in adolescents. Recent studies in the adult literature have shown a greater prevalence of symptomatic malunion, nonunion, and poor functional outcomes after nonsurgical management of displaced fractures. Fixation of displaced midshaft clavicle fractures can restore length and alignment, resulting in shorter time to union. Symptomatic malunion after significantly displaced fractures in adolescents may be more common than previously thought. Adolescents often have high functional demands, and their remodeling potential is limited. Knowledge of bone biology and the effects of shortening, angulation, and rotation on shoulder girdle mechanics is critical in decision making in order to increase the likelihood of optimal results at skeletal maturity. Selection of fixation is dependent on many factors, including fracture type, patient age, skeletal maturity, and surgeon comfort.

© 2012 by American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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