Background: Plate breakage is one form of construct failure after a clavicle fracture treated with an open reduction and plate fixation. A recent study evaluated construct failure after an open reduction and plate fixation and reported a construct failure rate of 6.9% of which 1.9% were related to broken plates. Plate breakage is rare, thus, there are insufficient data regarding risk factors, pathogenesis, or how to avoid it. Case presentation: This case report presents an unusual case of a 35-year-old Caucasian man, 7 weeks after open reduction and internal plate fixation of a fracture in the middle third of his clavicle, who developed breakage of the implant. Surgery was advised, the implant was retrieved, the fracture was reduced, and a new bridging locking plate was implanted. Conclusions: In the current case it seems that the use of a bridging plate, the fundamental anatomical structure of the clavicle and the forces that are applied on it, the lack of discipline in complying with the postoperative functional restrictions, and an unclear "patient expectation" process were the main reasons for the failure. These aspects should be carefully considered and addressed in clavicle fractures.
- Case report
- Open reduction and plate fixation
- Plate breakage
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (all)