How are vascular injuries diagnosed and treated in patients with shoulder dislocation?

Updated: Nov 29, 2018
  • Author: Sharon R Wilson, MD; Chief Editor: Trevor John Mills, MD, MPH  more...
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Answer

Axillary artery injuries are rare but have been reported to occur with anterior, inferior, and intra-thoracic dislocations. Especially susceptible are older adults with atherosclerotic axillary arteries. Arterial injury may be associated with decreased radial pulse.

Lateral chest wall ecchymosis with associated axillary hematoma and bruit may be noted on physical examination.

Angiography should be considered with any brachial plexus injury.


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