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Pseudarthrosis of the first rib in the overhead athlete
  1. K Mithöfer1,
  2. E Giza2
  1. 1Shoulder and Sports Medicine Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, USA
  2. 2Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, MA, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Mithöfer
 Shoulder and Sports Medicine Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, 535 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021, USA; MithoeferKHSS.EDU


Fractures of the first rib are uncommon in athletes and present a different clinical entity from traumatic first rib fracture associated with high energy thoracic trauma. These fractures are stress induced and precipitated by chronic muscular forces acting on the first rib. Typically they heal with conservative treatment. This report describes a fracture of the first rib in a tennis player that developed into a symptomatic pseudarthrosis as a result of persistent overhead activities. Symptoms mimicked ipsilateral shoulder injury. Pseudarthrosis of the first rib should be included in the differential diagnosis of chronic persistent shoulder pain in the overhead athlete.

  • first rib
  • non-union
  • tennis
  • pseudoarthrosis
  • shoulder pain

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