Sternal closure with rigid titanium plates (primary sternal plating) may reduce sternal wound complications in high-risk patients. We began performing primary sternal plating for the following indications: obesity, manual laborer, osteoporotic sternum, or intraoperative transverse sternal fracture. Patients receiving plate closure were compared to a risk-matched control group receiving wire closure. Outcomes of interest were postoperative length of stay and sternal wound complications wsterile dehiscence or deep sternal wound infection (DSWI)]. Wound complications were classified by time of occurrence as early (≤30 days postoperation) or late (>30 days postoperation). Of 445 total cardiac cases during the 5-year study period, 129 (29%) met inclusion criteria. The plate group (n=30) and wire group (n=99) were generally well-matched in terms of risk factors. Postoperative length of stay was significantly shorter in the plate group (median 7 vs. 8 days, P=0.023). No early sternal wound complications occurred in the plate group, compared to 12 (12%) in the wire group (P=0.067). The incidence of late sternal wound complications was 10% in both groups (P=1.0). Primary sternal plating appears to provide benefits over wire closure during the early postoperative period, but may not prevent late wound complications in patients with osteoporosis or extreme obesity.
- Sternal dehiscence
- Sternal plating
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine