Sternoclavicular (SC) Joint Disorders

Sternoclavicular (SC) Joint Disorders

The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is a important joint located in the upper chest and is responsible for connecting the sternum (breastbone) to the clavicle (collarbone). It is a saddle-shaped joint that allows for a wide range of movement, including forward and backward, as well as side-to-side movements.
Disorders of the SC joint can result from various causes including injury, arthritis, and degenerative conditions. Some of the most common SC joint disorders include:
  • Sternoclavicular joint dislocation: This is a common injury that occurs when the clavicle is forced out of its normal position in the SC joint. It can result from a direct blow to the shoulder or a fall on the arm.
  • Sternoclavicular joint osteoarthritis: This is a degenerative condition in which the cartilage that cushions the joint begins to wear away, leading to pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion.
  • Sternoclavicular joint instability: This condition occurs when the SC joint becomes too loose and can cause pain and discomfort, as well as instability of the shoulder.
  • Costoclavicular syndrome: This is a condition in which the costoclavicular ligament, which supports the SC joint, becomes tight and compresses the subclavian artery and vein. This can result in pain and discomfort, as well as impaired circulation in the arm.
Treatment for SC joint disorders depends on the specific condition and may include physical therapy, medication, cortisone injections, or surgery. Physical therapy can help to improve strength and range of motion in the affected joint, while medication can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Cortisone injections can provide fast relief from pain and swelling, while surgery may be necessary for more severe cases, such as joint dislocation.
In conclusion, the SC joint is a vital joint that plays an important role in the stability and mobility of the upper body. Disorders of the SC joint can result from various causes and can cause pain, discomfort, and limited range of motion. Treatment depends on the specific condition and may include physical therapy, medication, cortisone injections, or surgery. It is important to seek the help of a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

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