Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research®

, Volume 470, Issue 2, pp 622–625

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

  • Josep Liria
  • Susana Carrascal
  • Mariano Fernández-Fairén
  • Assumpció Malgosa
  • Albert Isidro
Case Report



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.


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Copyright information

© The Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons® 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Josep Liria
    • 1
  • Susana Carrascal
    • 1
  • Mariano Fernández-Fairén
    • 2
  • Assumpció Malgosa
    • 1
  • Albert Isidro
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Unitat d’Antropologia Biològica, Departament de Biologia Animal, Biologia Vegetal i EcologiaUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBellaterraSpain
  2. 2.Instituto de Cirugía Ortopédica y Traumatología de Barcelona BarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Hospital Universitari del Sagrat CorBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.Serv. C.O.T. HospSagrat Cor/ Unidad Docente U.B.BarcelonaSpain

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