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Fleischhacker, Evi; Siebenbürger, Georg; Gleich, Johannes; Böcker, Wolfgang; Gilbert, Fabian; Helfen, Tobias (2022): The Accuracy of Distal Clavicle Fracture Classifications—Do We Need an Amendment to Imaging Modalities or Fracture Typing? Journal of Clinical Medicine, 11 (19): 5638. ISSN 2077-0383

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Background: Despite its fair-to-moderate reliability, the “modified Neer classification” is widely accepted and used. The purpose of this study was to reevaluate its applicability.
Methods: Of n = 59 patients with distal clavicle fractures, fractures were classified on standard radiographs. Afterwards, an MRI examination was performed, and fractures reclassified. The primary outcome parameter was quantifying the rate of misclassification. The secondary outcome parameters were the evaluation of the ligamentous injury constellations. Results: In all cases, the fracture course and ligamental integrity could be assigned to the fracture type. Correction of the classification was
necessary in n = 5 (8.5%) cases. In n = 3 (5%) cases, a correction was necessary from Neer I to Craig IIc and thus from conservative to operative treatment. Mean coracoclavicular distance (CCD) in Neer I
was 10.2 ± 2.1 mm versus 14.2 ± 3.9 mm in Craig IIc (p = 0.02). The mean fracture angle in Neer I was 25.1 ± 3.3◦ versus 36.8 ± 4.4◦
in Craig IIc (p = 0.02). Conclusion: Cross-sectional imaging resulted in
higher precision. Nevertheless, recommendations remain for standard radiographs. The CCD and fracture angle should be considered. An angle of >30◦ can be assumed as a parameter of instability. A previously undescribed fracture type does not seem to exist. The modified Neer classification is an appropriate and complete fracture classification.

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