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Case Reports in Emergency Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 689157, 3 pages
Case Report

A Paradoxical Triad: Scapulothoracic Dissociation with Clavicle and Humeral Shaft Fractures

Department of Orthopaedics, Christian Medical College, Unit 1, Vellore 632004, India

Received 17 May 2014; Accepted 8 July 2014; Published 22 July 2014

Academic Editor: Serdar Kula

Copyright © 2014 Sandeep Albert et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Scapulothoracic dissociation involves varying degree of discontinuity of the upper extremity from its truncal attachment. An eighteen-year-old male presented to the accident and emergency department following a motor vehicle accident where he was hit by a four wheeler while riding a two wheeler. He had tenderness and deformity over the left clavicle and the left humerus. He was unable to perform active wrist and finger dorsiflexion. A CT subsequently revealed a grade 2 splenic laceration. The splenic laceration was treated conservatively. As his general condition improved, he was gradually weaned off the ventilator and his left upper limb neurology was reassessed. He had isolated radial nerve palsy with an otherwise intact brachial plexus. He underwent internal fixation of the clavicle and the humerus. At 4 months after injury the EMG/NCV report showed signs of renervation of the radial nerve, and the fracture progressed to an uneventful union. This prior unreported triad of scapulothoracic dissociation with ipsilateral clavicular and humeral fractures may represent a parody. An apparent increase in the severity of skeletal injury was associated with a paradoxical decrease in the severity of neurovascular injury. We report this case to create awareness among orthopedic surgeons and emergency physicians about the clinical presentation of such injuries.