Are there any differences between the shoulder-arm sling and figure-of-eight bandage in the conservative treatment of paediatric clavicle fractures?

J Child Orthop. 2021 Dec 1;15(6):540-545. doi: 10.1302/1863-2548.15.210139.


Purpose: Clavicle fractures are treated conservatively in the paediatric age group, except in rare types of fractures. We investigated whether there was a difference between using shoulder-arm sling and figure-of-eight bandage in this age group.

Methods: This study was designed as a retrospective study. In all, 41 children among 53 who underwent conservative treatment with a shoulder-arm sling or figure-of-eight bandage between 2014 and 2019 were included in the study and divided into two groups. Treatment results were compared clinically with respect to pain intensity, muscle strength and radiological examinations.

Results: Group A comprised 20 children with a figure-of-eight bandage and group B comprised 21 children with shoulder sling. According to the Robinson classification, ten fractures were displaced in group A and 12 in group B (p = 0.647). The mean time until the first appointment after the index visit that started the management course was 25.5 days (21 to 31) in group A and 24 days (20 to 30) in group B (p = 0.129). Fracture healing was observed in all patients at the first follow-up and the treatment was discontinued. There was no difference between the groups in the muscle strength examination and shoulder joint range of movement examination at the first-year follow-up (p = 1.00).

Conclusion: In the paediatric age group, there was no significant difference between shoulder-arm sling and figure-of-eight bandage in the conservative treatment of clavicle fractures. Since the shoulder-arm sling is more suitable for treatment, it may be the primary preference.

Level of evidence: Level III (retrospective comparative study).

Keywords: children; clavicle fracture; conservative treatment.