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Traumatic Shoulder Girdle Injury in Relation to the Mechanism of Trauma, Age and Sex

Adekunle Yisau Abdulkadir, Ganiyu A Rahman, Olusola A.M. Adesiyun, Halimat J Akande, Olasunkanmi M Babalola


Fractures and dislocations are common manifestations of shoulder girdle injuries (SGI) throughout life. Conventional radiography is often times sufficient for the evaluation. To  examine SGI in relation to the mechanism of trauma, age and sex, and projects in region with limited access to imaging technology, the degree of diagnostic errors that could occur from evaluating SGI without imaging. Two consultant’s radiologists for evidence of fractures and dislocations retrospectively analyzed 572 shoulder radiographs of 293 patients for age, sex, radiographic indications, aetiology, clinical diagnoses, cadres of the requesting physicians and the reporting radiologist. There were 87 shoulder fractures with 44.4% following road traffic injuries (RTI). Scapular fractures occurred predominantly in males age 20-39years, p = 0.031, all followed high-energy trauma and majority had associated other shoulder girdle and extra-shoulder fractures. Falls and RTI accounted for 50% and 61.5% of fractures below 20 years and 20-39 years respectively (P=0.001). Without imaging clinical evaluation of SGI were imprecise in 52 of 72 (72.2%) patients.  Fall is a common cause of SGI in girls below 10years of age and scapular fractures thought to be rare is relatively common in our environment. Plain radiography is invaluable in SGI evaluation.

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