Complications associated with clavicular fracture

Orthop Nurs. 2009 Sep-Oct;28(5):217-24; quiz 225-6. doi: 10.1097/NOR.0b013e3181b579d3.


The objective of our literature review was to inform orthopaedic nurses about the complications of clavicular fracture, which are easily misdiagnosed. For this purpose, we searched MEDLINE (1965-2005) using the key words clavicle, fracture, and complications. Fractures of the clavicle are usually thought to be easily managed by symptomatic treatment in a broad arm sling. However, it is well recognized that not all clavicular fractures have a good outcome. Displaced or comminuted clavicle fractures are associated with complications such as subclavian vessels injury, hemopneumothorax, brachial plexus paresis, nonunion, malunion, posttraumatic arthritis, refracture, and other complications related to osteosynthesis. Herein, we describe what the orthopaedic nurse should know about the complications of clavicular fractures.

MeSH terms

  • Clavicle / injuries*
  • Education, Continuing
  • Fractures, Bone / complications*
  • Fractures, Bone / nursing
  • Humans
  • Orthopedic Nursing