Randomized prospective study of olecranon fracture fixation: cable pin system versus tension band wiring

J Int Med Res. 2012;40(3):1055-66. doi: 10.1177/147323001204000324.


Objective: This prospective, randomized study compared the effectiveness of the cable pin system (CPS) versus tension band wiring (TBW) for olecranon fracture fixation.

Methods: Patients with acute transverse or slight oblique olecranon fractures were randomly divided into two groups: one fixed by CPS and the other by TBW. Clinical outcome data were collected and analysed following a mean duration of 21 months.

Results: The mean ± SD fracture healing time was significantly shorter in the CPS group (n = 30; 9.73 ± 2.02 weeks) compared with the TBW group (n = 32; 11.13 ± 2.21 weeks). One patient in the CPS group and seven patients in the TBW group experienced postoperative complications; this difference was statistically significant. The mean ± SD Mayo Elbow Performance Score in the CPS group was significantly higher (88.67 ± 6.42) than that in the TBW group (80.78 ± 11.99). Logistic regression analysis showed an association between fixation method and fracture healing time, complications and elbow function.

Conclusions: Internal fixation by CPS is an effective method for olecranon fracture and is associated with a shorter healing time, fewer complications and better function than TBW.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Nails*
  • Bone Wires*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Olecranon Process*
  • Postoperative Care
  • Prospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ulna Fractures / surgery*