A new surgical device to fix broken collar bones is resulting in faster healing times and better range of movement in patients, according to Sydney orthopaedic surgeon Dr David Duckworth.

New Plate Delivering Better Results For Collar Bone Fractures

The surgical “clavicle plate” is used for fractures located on the outer (known as the distal) end of the collar bone.

Dr Duckworth said patients with fractured collar bones who were fitted with the plate were experiencing faster healing times and a better range of movement post operatively than patients fitted with other types of plates or fixing devices.

The plate, developed by Dr Duckworth in France, is smaller than other plates commonly used and has more options to screw the plate to the bone, making fractures easier to fix.

X-Rays of a standard shoulder replacement (left) and a reverse shoulder replacement (right)

Left: Fracture fragments like this one can be very small, and not ideal for standard size plates. Right: The new plate is smaller and designed specifically to treat distal clavicle fractures.

“Previously I used a plate designed for a wrist, as most other surgeons still do, but I found that it wasn’t a perfect anatomical fit for the end of the collar bone,” Dr Duckworth said.

“This plate is smaller, fits well and has a lot more screw options than traditional plates, so I can use more screws in the distal bone fragment for better results.”

He said patients with this type of clavicle fracture were often male cyclists aged between 20 and 60 years who fell directly onto their shoulder.

“With these kind of accidents, surgery is necessary as the fractures are often quite severe,” he said.

“Often it will take from 6 to 12 weeks recovery time before they are able to return to cycling or other sports.”

For specific advice regarding clavicle fractures, please book an appointment with Dr David Duckworth on (02) 9806 3333

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