OJRad  Vol.4 No.3 , September 2014
Radiography of Clavicle Fractures— A Review of the Literature —Do Various Radiographic Views of Clavicle Fractures Affect the Management Plan?
ABSTRACT

Introduction: Fractures of the clavicle are common and make up 5% - 10% of all fractures. Treatment options in part depend on the location of the fracture along the bone and degree of displacement. These two parameters are best determined by good quality, standardized radiographs of the clavicle. We reviewed the literature to determine the optimal radiographs of clavicle fractures and their influence on the treatment plan. Methods: A comprehensive search of Medline? database was undertaken with the following search terms and MeSH headings: clavicle, fractures, bone, radiography, and X-ray. We included articles in English published from 1950 to present. We ruled out fractures in children, fracture dislocations, open fractures, those with neurological and vascular injuries and fractures involving the acromioclavicular or sternoclavicular joints. Findings: Of the 821 citations obtained, only four studies proved eligible. In the most pertinent, four orthopaedic surgeons were shown standard views (antero-posterior and 20° cephalic tilt) of 50 clavicle fractures and then additional two views (45° cephalic and caudal tilt), and found that alternative views influenced their decision making, with more surgeons opting for surgical fixation. In a different study, it was shown that orthogonal views of the clavicle increased surgeons’ understanding and improved their treatment of these fractures. The third paper was a case series on clavicle fractures that were missed on the initial antero-posterior radiograph, and the fourth paper postulated that postero-anterior views of the thorax were most accurate in determining length of the clavicle. Conclusion: Studies showing an optimal view for assessment of clavicle fractures with a decision to then progressing to operative fixation are few, but the evidence points towards surgical fixation when alternative views of mid-shaft clavicle fractures are present.


Cite this paper
Baraza, N. and Wood, T. (2014) Radiography of Clavicle Fractures— A Review of the Literature —Do Various Radiographic Views of Clavicle Fractures Affect the Management Plan?. Open Journal of Radiology, 4, 235-240. doi: 10.4236/ojrad.2014.43031.
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