Management of displaced midshaft clavicle fractures in the military, a largely shoulder-bearing population, is controversial. We aimed to report the military-relevant functional outcomes after plate fixation. We performed a nested cross-sectional analysis of active duty service members enrolled in an ongoing multicenter, randomized trial on clavicle plating. For this analysis, we included subjects with ≥6 months follow-up. Outcome measures included radiographic appearance, physical examination, a military-specific questionnaire, and validated shoulder surveys. Mean follow-up for 28 clavicle fractures was 13 months. Union rate by 12 weeks was 93% (26/28). There was one case of soft tissue irritation requiring hardware removal. At latest follow-up, 75% of patients were satisfied; 68% had mild/no pain; 79% had full range of motion; 75% could perform push-ups; and 21% have deployed. For the majority of active duty personnel, rapid healing, return to military-specific tasks, and satisfaction with outcome are possible after plate fixation of clavicle fractures. However, approximately 25% report some functional limitations at 1 year.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health