Surgical approach for open reduction and internal fixation of clavicle fractures: a comparison of vertical and horizontal incisions

Ofir Chechik, Ron Batash, Yariv Goldstein, Nimrod Snir, Eyal Amar, Michael Drexler, Eran Maman, Oleg Dolkart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: This study was designed to compare the results of clavicle fracture open reduction internal fixation (ORIF) with standard horizontal incision versus vertical incision. Methods: ORIF surgery performed between October 2012 and August 2016 was included. The surgical approach was chosen according to surgeon preference as vertical or horizontal. Functional outcomes, fracture union, complications, scar appearance, skin irritation, and denervation around the scar were assessed at a minimum follow-up of three months. Results: Thirty-eight patients, age 39 ± 12 years, were operated upon, 22 through vertical incisions and 16 through horizontal incisions. There were no significant group differences in functional scores, fracture union, or complications. Two patients in the vertical incision group had a post-operative haematoma. The scar length was significantly shorter when a vertical incision was used (6.75 ± 1.25 cm vs 8.9 ± 2.3 cm, P = 0.001). The typical distribution of hypoesthetic skin area distal and lateral to the scar represented iatrogenic damage to the supraclavicular nerves and was found in 66% of patients. The mean hypoesthetic surface area was smaller in the vertical incision group (38 ± 29 cm2 vs 48 ± 28 cm2, P = non-significant). Conclusion: Vertical incision results in shorter scars but may be associated with increased incidence of haematomas. Meticulous closure of the subcutaneous tissue is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1977-1982
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Orthopaedics
Volume43
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 6 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Clavicle fractures
  • Open reduction and internal fixation
  • Vertical and horizontal incisions

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