Epidemiology of clavicle fractures

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2002 Sep-Oct;11(5):452-6. doi: 10.1067/mse.2002.126613.


An epidemiologic study of 535 isolated clavicle fractures treated in a hospital of a large metropolis during an 11-year period was performed. Data regarding patient's age and sex, side involved, mechanism of injury, and season in which the fracture occurred were obtained from the clinical records. Radiographic classification was performed with the Allman system. Clavicle fractures represented 2.6% of all fractures and 44% of those in the shoulder girdle. Most patients were men (68%), and the left side was involved in 61% of cases. Fractures of the middle third of the clavicle, which were the most common (81%), were displaced in 48% of cases and comminuted in 19%. Fractures of the medial third were the least common (2%). The prevalence of midclavicular fractures was found to decrease progressively with age, starting from the first decade of life when they represented 88.2% of all clavicle fractures and were undisplaced in 55.5% of cases. In adults, the incidence of displaced fractures, independent of location, was higher than that of undisplaced fractures. Traffic accidents were the most common cause of the injury. In the period under study, the incidence of fractures showed no significant change over time and no seasonal variation.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adult
  • Clavicle / diagnostic imaging
  • Clavicle / injuries*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Radiography
  • Seasons
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*