Clavicle series

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 19 Sep 2021

The radiographic series of the clavicle is utilized in emergency departments to assess the clavicle, acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joint.  

Indications

Clavicle x-rays are indicated for a variety of settings including:

  • trauma
  • bony tenderness
  • suspected fracture 
  • congenital abnormalities 
  • obvious deformity

Projections

Standard projections
  • AP
    • demonstrates the entire clavicle including its articulation with the acromion and the sternum 
  • AP cephalad angulation
    • 'straightens' out the clavicle
    • often used to better visualize occult clavicle fractures 
Modified trauma projections
  • supine 
    • AP clavicle performed supine, with or without angulation
Additional projections
  • AP frontal projection with further cephalad angulation visualizes the under the surface of the clavicle
  • AP frontal projection with caudal angulation visualizes the posterior surface of the clavicle
  • bilateral views may be required if there is a need for comparison or there is suspicion of a bilateral process

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: clavicle series
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  • Figure 2: AP 20 deg cephalad
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  • Figure 3: AP
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