A survey of current practices and preferences for internal fixation of displaced olecranon fractures
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BACKGROUND: Olecranon fractures represent 10% of upper extremity fractures. There is a growing body of literature to support the use of plate fixation for displaced olecranon fractures. The purpose of this survey was to gauge Canadian surgeons' practices and preferences for internal fixation methods for displaced olecranon fractures. METHODS: Using an online survey tool, we administered a cross-sectional survey to examine current practice for fixation of displaced olecranon fractures. RESULTS: We received 256 completed surveys for a response rate of 31% (95% confidence interval [CI] 30.5-37.5%). The preferred treatment was tension band wiring (78.5%, 95% CI 73-83%) for simple displaced olecranon fractures (Mayo IIA) and plating (81%, 95% CI 75.5-85%) for displaced comminuted olecranon fractures (Mayo IIB). Fracture morphology with a mean impact of 3.31 (95% CI 3.17-3.45) and comminution with a mean impact of 3.34 (95% CI 3.21-3.46) were the 2 factors influencing surgeons' choice of fixation method the most. The major deterrent to using tension band wiring for displaced comminuted fractures (Mayo IIB) was increased stability obtained with other methods described by 75% (95% CI 69-80%) of respondents. The major deterrent for using plating constructs for simple displaced fractures (Mayo IIA) was better outcomes with other methods. Hardware prominence was the most commonly perceived complication using either method of fixation: 77% (95% CI 71.4-81.7%) and 76.2% (95% CI 70.6-81.0%) for tension band wiring and plating, respectively. CONCLUSION: Divergence exists with current literature and surgeon preference for fixation of displaced olecranon fractures.
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