Michael D Riggenbach, Grant L Jones, Julie Y Bishop
Department of Orthopaedics, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
Background: Biologic augmentation with allograft has shown equivalent healing rates to autograft in several nonunion models. No literature exists clearly demonstrating this in the clavicle. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the healing and complication rates of clavicle nonunions treated solely with open reduction and internal fixation (ORIF) and allograft.
Materials and Methods: Nineteen clavicle nonunions treated with ORIF and allograft were evaluated retrospectively to assess healing rates and complications based on clinical symptoms and radiographic findings.
Results: For the 19 patients included and treated with ORIF and allograft, clinical follow-up averaged 15 months. Seven patients were smokers. Although complete radiographic healing was achieved in only 68% of patients, clinical success occurred in 16 (84%) patients who demonstrated full range of motion and strength without pain. The three patients who did not demonstrate full radiographic healing were completely pain free. Five patients experienced complications (26%). Two underwent hardware removal due to persistent irritation after union. Three had a persistent painful nonunion. Each of these three patients was a smoker (P=0.08). Two proceeded to union after revision fixation. The other had hardware failure, which was removed, with a persistent nonunion and did not wish any further treatment.
Conclusion: ORIF with allograft bone substitute is an acceptable treatment alternative to iliac crest bone graft for clavicle nonunions. However, we did not demonstrate equivalent healing rates to published results utilizing autograft. Smokers were identified to have a trend toward higher failure rates with ORIF augmented with allograft and therefore these patients may be better served by augmenting fixation with autograft.
Level of Evidence: IV; retrospective comparative study.
Julie Y Bishop
Department of Orthopaedics, The Ohio State University, 2050 Kenny Rd, Suite 3300, Columbus, OH 43221
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
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