December 01, 2014
1 min read

Anterior chest wall numbness common after plating of clavicle fractures

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In the early postoperative period, anterior chest wall numbness after open reduction internal fixation of displaced clavicle fractures was very common and may remain high 1 year postoperatively, according to study results.

Researchers included 25 patients treated for displaced diaphyseal clavicle fractures from January 2010 to January 2012 in the prospective, observational study. The study’s primary outcome measures were anterior chest wall numbness size and location as measured with a numbness transparency grid, and secondary outcomes included VAS; Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand; and Constant scores 1 year postoperatively.

Study results showed 83% of patients experienced numbness at 2 weeks, with a mean numbness area of 44 cm2. At 1 year, numbness remained in 52% of patients, with a mean area of 15 cm2. The researchers found patients who had numbness at 2 weeks had a 63% chance of continued 1-year numbness.

At final follow-up, all patients experienced excellent Constant; Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand; and VAS pain scores, without correlation between numbness and outcome measures, according to the researchers.

Disclosures: Horwitz received honoraria from DePuy, Stryker and Synthes. Kubiak received honoraria from DePuy, DJO Global, Medtronic, Tornier and Zimmer.