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Radiographic Comparison of a Fractured Clavicle Exhibiting a Pseudo-Arthrosis

Authors

  • Matthew P. Rhode Ph.D.,

    1. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command-Central Identification Laboratory (JPAC-CIL), 310 Worchester Avenue, Building 45, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI 96853-5530.
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  • William W. Goodhue Jr. M.D.,

    1. Department of the Medical Examiner, City and County of Honolulu, 835 Iwilei Road, Honolulu, HI 96817.
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  • Carl N. Stephan Ph.D.

    1. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command-Central Identification Laboratory (JPAC-CIL), 310 Worchester Avenue, Building 45, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI 96853-5530.
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  • Supported, in part, by two appointments to the Postgraduate Research Participation Program at the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command-Central Identification Laboratory administered by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education through an interagency agreement between the U.S. Department of Energy and JPAC-CIL.

Additional information and reprint requests:
Matthew P. Rhode, Ph.D.
Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command-Central Identification Laboratory
310 Worchester Avenue, Building 45
Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, HI 96853-5530
E-mail: mrhode@clarion.edu

Abstract

Abstract:  Bone remodeling is a natural process that is potentially problematic for radiographic comparisons because it can occur after antemortem (AM) imaging, thus interfering with the comparability of AM and postmortem (PM) radiographs from the same individual. While the effects of age-related remodeling have been studied, limited attention has been given to trauma-related remodeling with respect to radiographic comparisons. This report adds to the latter topic by presenting a case of AM clavicle fracture that developed into a pseudo-arthrosis over a 12-month period prior to the individual’s death. Even though remodeling was discernable along the fracture margins, adjacent skeletal features on the PM radiograph remained unaltered and constituted compelling evidence for the identification. This case illustrates the potential of using both normal and pathological anatomy concurrently to maximize the surety of findings from radiographic comparisons.

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