Posterior sternoclavicular Salter-Harris fracture-dislocation in a patient with unossified medial clavicle epiphysis
INTRODUCTION The aim of this study is to describe the demographics, management and functional outcomes of patients presenting with a sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) dislocation. METHODS A retrospective medical record review was conducted examining patients with SCJ dislocation admitted to an adult level 1 trauma centre between 2004 and 2012. Patient demographics, symptoms, associated injuries, imaging technique used in diagnosis, surgical data and neurovascular complications were recorded. Patients received a single-page questionnaire to assess physical function using two validated shoulder questionnaires. RESULTS A total of 22 patients were identified, out of which 77% sustained a posterior dislocation. Mean age was 30 years (range 16-65), and the most common cause of injury was a direct blow during sport (n=11). Open reduction and internal fixation were performed in 13 patients, definitive closed reduction used in seven and two patients were managed expectantly. Functional outcomes for patients were excellent, with American Shoulder and Elbow Society (ASES) and Subjective Shoulder Value (SSV) scores >80 in 87.5% of cases. There were preoperative symptoms consistent with mediastinal compression in 50% and one delayed presentation with thoracic outlet syndrome. No patient had neurovascular compromise or functional deficit post-operatively, regardless of joint congruency. CONCLUSION This is the largest case series from a single institution currently available examining SCJ dislocation. We recommend an initial trial of closed reduction, followed by open reduction and internal fixation if there is joint instability or malreduction. Functional outcome following both closed and open reduction of the SCJ is excellent.