Clavicle fracture (summary)

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 1 Mar 2021
This is a basic article for medical students and other non-radiologists

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 visualize fractures at either end, especially if joint involved
  • treatment
    • conservative treatment with immobilization
      • 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.

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: midshaft fracture
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2: under estimated displacement
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 3: distal clavicle fracture
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 4: medical clavicle fracture (CT)
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.