Clavicle fracture (summary)

Dr Jeremy Jones et al.

Clavicle fracture usually occurs following trauma with a direct blow to the shoulder region, often following a fall.

Reference article

This is a summary article. For more information, you can read a more in-depth reference article: clavicle fracture.

  • anatomy
  • epidemiology
    • common: 2.5-10%
    • bimodal age and sex distribution
  • presentation
    • clavicle or shoulder pain following trauma
  • pathophysiology
    • almost always traumatic
    • most commonly midshaft (70-80%)
  • investigation
    • x-ray for diagnosis and follow-up
    • CT for difficult to visualise fractures at either end, especially if joint involved
  • treatment
    • conservative treatment with immobilisation
      • complications
        • non-union (15%)
        • cosmetic deformity or brachial plexus irritation
    • surgical treatment
      • increasingly common especially where there is displacement

Fracture, usually of the midshaft. There may be angulation and displacement. If there is only 1 view, it is difficult to be certain about the degree of displacement (it may be underestimated). A second view performed obliquely can help to determine displacement.

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Article information

rID: 50588
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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Cases and figures

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    Case 1: midshaft fracture
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    Case 2: under estimated displacement
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    Case 3: distal clavicle fracture
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    Case 4: medical clavicle fracture (CT)
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