Objectives Type 2 peg fractures are known to have low fusion rates but most are elderly with comorbidities and not fit for surgery. Increasingly, clinicians want to stop using hard collars due to its complications, but with little supporting evidence. We aim to provide data to add to this debate.
Design Single centre cohort study.
Subjects 145 consecutive patients referred to a Major Trauma Centre as type 2 peg fracture.
Methods All patients referred with a suspected peg fracture between March 2015 and December 2017 were included. All imaging were assessed and case notes reviewed for patient demographics, fracture management, complications and outcomes.
Results 102 cases were peg fractures (mean age=80 years). 92 (90.2%) were managed conservatively with a hard collar (mean of 87 days). 37% developed symptoms from the collar, namely pain, stiffness and non-tolerance. Bony union was achieved in only 39.1% of patients with increasing age being an independent risk factor (p<0.001). Of the 56 patients who did not have bony union, there were no reported symptoms and 90% were discharged without a collar. 2 patients were offered but declined fixation and neither reported any on-going symptoms.
Conclusions This study adds to the body of evidence that fusion rates are low, and collar complications are not insignificant when type 2 peg fractures are treated in a hard collar. However, outcomes are good regardless of union, potentially rendering the collar unnecessary. We aim to conduct a randomised prospective study to further investigate.
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