Sternoclavicular Joint Dislocations

Causes  |  Symptoms  |  Treatment Options

What Is Sternoclavicular Joint Dislocations?

The sternoclavicular (SC) joint is the connection of the breastbone (sternum) to the clavicle. 

An SC joint dislocation is a relatively uncommon type of dislocation due to its stability and minimal range of motion. The clavicle will either dislocate in front of (an anterior SC dislocation) or behind (a posterior SC dislocation) the sternum.

What Are The Symptoms of Sternoclavicular Joint Dislocations?

In the case of sternoclavicular joint dislocations, patients tend to present with symptoms such as swelling, tenderness, and bruising over the joint, making it difficult to move the arm. Additionally, patients may experience a grinding or crunching sound when they attempt to move the affected arm. 

What Are the Treatment Options Available for Sternoclavicular Joint Dislocations?

Treatment for dislocations will depend on the severity of the dislocation. Medication will generally be provided in the forms of painkillers and anti-inflammatories and can be accompanied by manipulation (if possible) to put the joint back in place.

In more severe cases, surgery may be needed should manipulation not be possible or if the dislocation damages blood vessels, nerves, bones, muscles or ligaments surrounding the joint. 

In either case, physiotherapy will be recommended to strengthen the surrounding muscles and ligaments to hasten the healing process and reduce recovery time.