Dr Heckroodt Laubscher

Specialist Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon

ORIF Clavicle Fracture Procedure

These fractures are often sustained during a fall or during a sporting activity or motor vehicle accident. Indications for emergency surgery include an open fracture (bone exposed) or when the skin is tented and about to be punctured by the sharp bone ends. Each case needs to be evaluated individually to decide on the need for surgery. Various factors play a role such as fracture configuration (shortening, comminution) as well as patient factors (patient need for early shoulder mobility or age). When an ORIF (open reduction and internal fixation) is indicated plate and screws are usually applied to the clavicle to hold the reduction.

Procedure duration:
This is dependent on the extent of the fracture and is therefore highly variable. The duration usually varies between 45minutes to 90 minutes.

Post operative rehabilitation:
If adequate and strong fixation could be obtained then the arm is only kept in a sling for 2 weeks. In cases where the fracture has many loose fragments/pieces then a sling will have to be worn for 6 weeks. Rehabilitation post surgery progresses fairly quickly.