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Absorbable rods and screws: a new method of fixation for fractures of the olecranon

, : Absorbable rods and screws: a new method of fixation for fractures of the olecranon. International Orthopaedics 16(3): 250-254

Between April 1986 and July 1990 fractures of the olecranon in 41 adult patients were treated by fixation with absorbable rods (20 patients) and screws (21 patients) of self-reinforced polyglycolide (SR-PGA), 3.2 mm in diameter and 20-70 mm in length. Patients were followed up for a mean time of 2 years 7 months (range 1 year to 4 years 6 months). After reduction of the fracture, channels were drilled from the proximal fragment through the cortex of the distal fragment and the fractures were fixed with absorbable rods or screws. By one year from follow-up maintenance of an anatomical reduction of the fracture was seen in 34 patients. Failure of fixation requiring a second operation occurred in 2 cases. In all cases functional recovery was at least satisfactory. Sinus formation as a sign of transient tissue reaction was observed in 3 cases, but did not influence the healing of the fractures or the functional recovery. The results in patients treated with rods or screws was similar. Absorbable screws combined with small rods and absorbable sutures allow treatment of +ore severe fractures of the olecranon than do rods alone.


PMID: 1428337

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