OBJECTIVES: The purpose of this study was to report the clinical outcomes of traumatic appendicular bone injuries treated with supercutaneous plating.
METHODS: We conducted a retrospective case series of medical records following fracture fixation using locking implants with a supercutaneous plating technique. Inclusion criteria comprised a complete clinical and radiographical follow-up until implant removal. Patient history and signalment as well as fracture configuration were recorded.
RESULTS: Five appendicular long bone fractures (3 radii, 2 tibiae) were included in the study and they were all treated using conical coupling locking plates. The patient mean age was 2.3 years (range: 0.3-5.8 years) and the mean body weight 16.5 kg (range: 3-27 kg).One major (implant failure) and minor complications (delayed bone union and iatrogenic recurvatum deformity) were detected. The removal of the plates was quick and did not require general anaesthesia. All five fractures treated healed and patients were sound at final follow-up. Neither discomfort nor pain were noticed during the postoperative patient management.
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The advantages related to the minimally invasive approach and implant removal could make the supercutaneous plating (SCP) an alternative to the traditional external skeletal fixation.Further clinical investigations are required before definitive treatment recommendations using this technique can be made. In consideration of some of the complications detected, the use of fluoroscopy is recommended to support the surgeon at the beginning of their SCP learning curve.