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Posterior sternoclavicular dislocation in a rugby player as a cause of silent vascular compromise: a case report
  1. A H Mirza,
  2. K Alam,
  3. A Ali
  1. University Hospitals Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Aun H Mirza
    University Hospitals Birmingham, Orthopaedics and Trauma, Birmingham, UK;


Background: Approximately 120 cases of posterior sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) dislocation have been documented in the medical literature since it was first described in 1824 by Sir Astley Cooper, a statistic which underlies its relative rarity. It is associated with high energy trauma, and although it may present innocently enough, it is a potentially life threatening injury.

Case and Results: We describe a case in which there was no clinical evidence of complication, although CT imaging revealed complete obstruction of the brachiocephalic vein and impingement of the aorta. This required open reduction and a novel fixation technique was employed. The reduction was stable at 8 month follow up appointment as evidenced by CT scan.

Conclusions: We acknowledge that this type of complication is well recognised but emphasise that it should not be managed complacently. A high index of suspicion is required to determine the presence of serious complications in this type of injury, which may manifest insidiously.

  • SCJ, sternoclavicular joint
  • complication
  • dislocation
  • impingement
  • sternoclavicular

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