Clavicle and scapula fracture problems: functional assessment and current treatment strategies

Instr Course Lect. 2011:60:51-71.


Historically, nonsurgical treatment was recommended for both clavicle and scapula fractures. Good functional outcomes were reported with nonsurgical treatment, whereas surgical treatment had a high complication rate. Recent studies have shown that the functional outcomes of nonsurgically treated fractures may not be as acceptable as had been previously believed. These studies also support the surgical treatment of clavicle and scapula fractures in certain circumstances. Relative indications for surgical treatment of clavicle fractures include skin compromise, neurologic or vascular injury, open fractures, high-energy closed fractures with greater than 15 to 20 mm of shortening, fractures with 100% displacement, and fractures with comminution. Relative indications for the surgical treatment of scapula fractures include displaced acromion or coracoid process fractures (> 10 mm), displaced intra-articular glenoid fractures (> 5 mm), and those associated with humeral subluxation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Clavicle / injuries*
  • Clavicle / surgery*
  • Fracture Fixation, Internal
  • Fractures, Bone / classification
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnosis*
  • Fractures, Bone / diagnostic imaging
  • Fractures, Bone / surgery*
  • Fractures, Malunited / diagnosis
  • Fractures, Malunited / surgery
  • Humans
  • Radiography
  • Scapula / diagnostic imaging
  • Scapula / injuries*
  • Scapula / surgery*