Clavicle series

The radiographic series of the clavicle is utilized in emergency departments to assess the clavicle, acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joint.


Clavicle x-rays are indicated for a variety of settings including:

  • trauma
  • bony tenderness
  • suspected fracture 
  • congenital abnormalities 
  • obvious deformity


Standard projections
  • AP
    • demonstrates the entire clavicle including its articulation with the acromion and the sternum 
  • AP cephalad angulation
    • 'straightens' out the clavicle
    • often used to better visualize occult clavicle fractures 
Modified trauma projections
  • supine 
    • AP clavicle performed supine, with or without angulation
Additional projections
  • AP frontal projection with further cephalad angulation visualizes the under the surface of the clavicle
  • AP frontal projection with caudal angulation visualizes the posterior surface of the clavicle
  • bilateral views may be required if there is a need for comparison or there is suspicion of a bilateral process
Radiographic views