Dynamic Compression of the Subclavian Artery Secondary to Clavicle Nonunion: A Report of 2 Cases

JBJS Case Connect. 2019 Jan-Mar;9(1):e4. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.CC.18.00200.


Case: We describe 2 patients with nonunion of the clavicle and dynamic compression of the subclavian artery. In both patients, no structural abnormality of the subclavian vessels was evident at rest; however, with the arm in hyperabduction, arterial occlusion occurred because of the mobility of the fracture and a prominent callus.

Conclusion: This small case series demonstrates an important and, to our knowledge, unreported clinical complication of clavicle fracture nonunion. We believe that this complication is worth considering as a rare but important cause of pain in patients with delayed union or nonunion of the clavicle.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Clavicle* / diagnostic imaging
  • Clavicle* / injuries
  • Constriction, Pathologic* / diagnostic imaging
  • Constriction, Pathologic* / etiology
  • Constriction, Pathologic* / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Fractures, Bone* / complications
  • Fractures, Bone* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Subclavian Artery* / diagnostic imaging
  • Subclavian Artery* / physiopathology
  • Vascular Diseases* / diagnostic imaging
  • Vascular Diseases* / etiology
  • Vascular Diseases* / physiopathology