NFL Rams’ Amendola’s Unusual Clavicle Injury – links

A student notified me about this. Of course we’re in the middle of bones and muscles…

Wide Receiver for the St. Louis Rams broke his clavicle in a game against the Arizona Cardinals earlier this month. Viewers could see he was frustrated, as he slammed his helmet in the hallway to the locker room. What they didn’t know was revealed by FoxSports commentator Jay Glazer – the injury could have killed Amendola. When his clavicle broke, it broke inward, and (as he says) the broken edge was near the aorta and trachea. “Amendola’s injury was NOT life threatening but that injury very often is. His wasn’t bc it didn’t slice any arteries. Got very very lucky,” Glazer tweeted on October 7th.

I don’t know for certain, as I’m not one of his doctors, but anatomy would tell me that Amendola’s broken clavicle could get dangerously close to the subclavian artery, which goes just deep the the clavicle. The aorta hooks downward (remember aortic arch), and to me the trachea is just too medial.

It’s true this injury could be life threatening. If any of these arteries were cut near the apex of the lung, the bleed would go into the thoracic artery, which could cause a hemothorax, which would impair breathing.

Now, let’s be clear, I don’t intend to poke holes on Glazer or FoxSports – I’m sure they can run circles around my knowledge of football. But you guys in anatomy can see this as well as I can.

Remember in your studies – get a mental 3-D image. We study the clavicle – and you’ll want to think what’s superior, inferior, deep, lateral (etc.) to each? When doctors and surgeons study injuries, they need to know the  “anatomy neighbors,” because they’re the ones that can cause the big problems, as in this case.


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