, Volume 470, Issue 2, pp 622-625
Date: 15 Sep 2011

Case Report: Floating-clavicle from the 17th Century: The Oldest Case?

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Dislocation of both ends of the clavicle is a rare traumatic lesion and the mechanism of the lesion is usually related to major trauma. The first case was described in 1831.

Case Description

We present the oldest referenced case of this alteration. The skeleton studied belonged to an old woman buried inside the Sant Pere de Madrona Church in Berga (Barcelona/Spain) and its dating indicated it corresponded to the end of the 17th century. There was a pseudarthrosis between the clavicle and coracoid ligament; when the bones were reconstructed by pseudarthrosis both ends of the clavicle appeared dislocated.

Literature Review

Bipolar dislocation of both ends of the clavicle, or “floating-clavicle”, is a rare injury. Since 1831 when this type of injury was first reported, approximately 40 cases have been published. No archaeological case has been published.

Clinical Relevance

Despite experiencing bipolar dislocation of both ends of the clavicle, or floating-clavicle, it is possible to have acceptable function of the arm as suggested by the anthropologic parameters analyzed here. The head of the humerus of the affected shoulder shows no abnormalities and the contralateral glenoid cavity shows severe osteochondritis of the anteroinferior side.

One or more of the authors (AM, AI) has received funding from the Spanish Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia and from the Generalitat of Catalunya.
All ICMJE Conflict of Interest Forms for authors and Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research editors and board members are on file with the publication and can be viewed on request.
Each author certifies that he or she, or a member of their immediate family, has no commercial associations (eg, consultancies, stock ownership, equity interest, patent/licensing arrangements, etc) that might pose a conflict of interest in connection with the submitted article.
Each author certifies that his or her institution approved or waived approval for the reporting of this case and that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research.
The work was performed at the Unitat d’Antropologia Biològica. Dept. Biologia Animal, Biologia Vegetal i Ecologia. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain.