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Early asymptomatic intrathoracic migration of a threaded pin after proximal humeral osteosynthesis.

Pinning with metallic wires is a suitable therapeutic option for proximal humeral fractures. Loosening and migration of such devices from this site is uncommon. Despite infrequently occurring, however, the literature reports dramatic and potentially lethal complications related to wires dislocation. A 69-year-old woman underwent closed reduction and fixation of a proximal 3-part humeral fracture by mean of two retrograde Kirschner wires and one anterograde threaded pin. One month after surgery, during a routine follow-up control, it was diagnosed the migration of the threaded pin in the left lung parenchyma. In the meantime, the only symptom the patient complained was an episodic intercostal pain of mild intensity, with referred onset 1 week after surgery. The migrated pin was removed through thoracoscopic approach in the emergency setting, without intra- or post-operative complications. Only a few authors reported similar complications after fixation of proximal humeral fractures. Immediate surgical removal of the device is always mandatory. When considering pinning fixation for shoulder girdle's fractures, orthopedic surgeons should take into account the risk for wire dislocation, and take up adequate precautions during surgery and follow-up control visits.

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