Conservative treatment of a closed fracture of the clavicle complicated by pneumothorax: a case report

Acta Orthop Belg. 2005 Aug;71(4):481-3.


Isolated clavicle fractures are frequently encountered in the accident and emergency department. Complications of isolated clavicle fractures are rare. Pneumothorax as a complication of a clavicle fracture has only been reported five times in English literature. In all five cases the pneumothorax was treated by a thoracostomy and the clavicle fracture was treated conservatively. In our case, both pneumothorax and clavicle fracture were treated conservatively with good result. Although isolated clavicle fractures rarely present with complications and normally heal with routine immobilisation, we must be aware of the serious complications that may occur, which require urgent treatment. Thorough history, physical examination, with particular attention to the neurovascular and chest examinations and radiographs of the clavicle are necessary to prevent overlooking these potentially serious complications.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Clavicle / diagnostic imaging
  • Clavicle / injuries*
  • Fractures, Closed / complications*
  • Fractures, Closed / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Closed / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pneumothorax / complications*
  • Pneumothorax / diagnostic imaging
  • Radiography