Indexed on: 05 Oct '13Published on: 05 Oct '13Published in: Injury
Clavicle fractures are among the most common upper extremity injuries. Traditionally most clavicle fractures have been treated non-surgically, but during recent decades the surgical treatment of clavicle fractures has increased. The purpose of this study was to assess the numbers and trends of surgically treated clavicle fractures in Finland between 1987 and 2010.The study covered the entire adult (>18 years) population of Finland over the study period. Data on surgically treated clavicle fractures was collected from the Finnish National Hospital Discharge Register. We assessed the number and incidence of surgically treated clavicle fractures annually.A total of 7073 surgically treated clavicle fractures were identified in the register over the study period. Three-fourths of the surgically treated patients were men and one-fourth was women. The incidence of surgical treatment increased nearly ninefold from 1.3 per 100,000 person years in 1987 to 10.8 per 100,000 person years in 2010. The increase in the rate of surgical treatment was especially notable in men.A striking increase in incidence of surgically treated clavicle fractures was seen from 1987 to 2010. Although the actual incidence of clavicle fractures is not known, we assume that the proportion of patients receiving surgical treatment has increased markedly without high-quality evidence. Since recent reports have suggested similar functional results between operative and conservative treatment critical evaluation of the treatment policy of clavicle fractures is warranted.