Immediate weight-bearing as tolerated has improved outcomes compared to non–weight-bearing after surgical stabilisation of midshaft clavicle fractures in polytrauma patients
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Background: Clavicle fractures are common injuries in the polytrauma population and frequently limit early mobilisation. This study evaluates the effect of immediate crutch weight-bearing (WB) in polytrauma patients after surgical stabilisation of a displaced midshaft clavicle fracture. Methods: A retrospective review identified 26 polytrauma patients with operatively managed displaced midshaft clavicle fractures and a non–weight-bearing (NWB) lower extremity injury. Patients were allowed immediate WB after surgery or NWB. The primary outcome was total hospital length of stay. Statistical analysis was done using Mann–Whitney U test. Results: The WB group had decreased total hospital length of stay (10.4 vs. 17.0 days, p = 0.012) and improved physical therapy score (3.9 vs. 2.9, p = 0.054) and postoperative length of stay (6.8 vs. 12.7 days, p = 0.006) compared with the NWB group. Conclusions: Our data suggest that an immediate WB as tolerated protocol for polytrauma patients after surgical fixation of displaced clavicle fractures may decrease the overall length of stay.
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