Operative treatment of clavicular nonunion.

Published online: Sep 27 1994

M Pedersen, K A Poulsen, F Thomsen, and B Kristiansen.

Department of Orthopedics, University Hospital of Copenhagen, Hellerup, Denmark.


Twelve patients treated for clavicular nonunion mainly with plate fixation and bone grafting were reviewed in order to evaluate the treatment. Follow-up was a median of 41 months (20-117). Nine out of 12 patients achieved a good end result, but the primary treatment failed in half of the cases, probably because of short (4-hole) semitubular plates and insufficient postoperative immobilization. We conclude that 4-hole semitubular plates cannot be recommended for treating clavicular nonunion because of a high risk of failure. Sufficient postoperative immobilization should follow plate fixation. If this is respected, plate fixation with bone grafting appears as a good method for treating clavicular nonunion.