Clavicle fractures: Associated trauma and morbidity

J Clin Orthop Trauma. 2020 Aug 26;13:53-56. doi: 10.1016/j.jcot.2020.08.020. eCollection 2021 Feb.


Background: Clavicle fractures are frequently associated with trauma to regions beyond the immediate zone of injury. In order to provide surgeons with information on injury prevalence to prevent delays in diagnosis and management, we describe the epidemiology of concomitant injuries in patients with clavicle fractures and identify differences between those with open and closed fractures. Methods:The Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) 2001-2013 database was queried for adult patients discharged with a diagnosis of a clavicle fracture using ICD-9 codes. A "common" injury was defined as prevalence ≥4.0% in our study population. We analyzed data for injury locations associated with open vs. closed clavicle fractures with chi square and independent samples t-tests.

Results: A total of 41,1612 patients were included in our study population. The majority of patients had closed clavicle fractures (98.2%). The most common concomitant fracture was that of the rib, followed by the spine. The most common non-vascular, non-nervous injury was a hemo/pneumothorax followed by a lung, bronchus, or diaphragm injury. Fractures of the humerus, rib, scapula, pelvis, tibia or fibula, and facial bones as well as concussion, pneumo/hemothorax, other pulmonary, and splenic injuries were more common in patients with open clavicle fractures. Patients with open clavicle fractures were, on average, 11.8 years younger than those with closed fractures.

Conclusion: There is a significant association between clavicle fractures and concussion, splenic, and thoracic injuries, as well as increased rate of complications with open fractures. Clinicians may use this information to perform risk assessments prevent delays in diagnosis.

Keywords: Associated trauma; Clavicle; Concomitant injury; Epidemiology; Fracture.