A Review of Sternal Closure Techniques


Sternotomy and sternal closure occur prior to and post cardiac surgery, respectively. Although post-operative complications associated with poor sternal fixation can result in morbidity, mortality, and considerable resource utilization, sternotomy is preferred over other methods such as lateral thoracotomy. Rigid sternal fixation is associated with stability and reduced incidence of post-operative complications. This is a comprehensive review of the literature evaluating in vivo, in vitro, and clinical responses to applying commercial and experimental surgical tools for sternal fixation after median sternotomy. Wiring, interlocking, plate-screw, and cementation techniques have been examined for closure, but none have experienced widespread adoption. Although all techniques have their advantages, serious post-operative complications were associated with the use of wiring and/or plating techniques in high-risk patients. A fraction of studies have analyzed the use of sternal interlocking systems and only a single study analyzed the effect of using kryptonite cement with wires. Plating and interlocking techniques are superior to wiring in terms of stability and reduced rate of post-operative complications; however, further clinical studies and long-term follow-up are required. The ideal sternal closure should ensure stability, reduced rate of post-operative complications, and a short hospitalization period, alongside cost-effectiveness. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav.


Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1530-8022; 0885-3282

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2023 SAGE Publications, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2013

PubMed ID