Sternoclavicular Joint Arthritis

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Sternoclavicular Joint Arthritis (SC Arthritis) Overview

When a joint has been injured, arthritis can set in over time, even after the injury has been treated. The sternoclavicular (SC) joint can also experience arthritis if it has sustained a sprain, subluxation, dislocation or fracture. These injuries typically cause the surrounding ligaments and cartilage to suffer damage, either mild or severe. SC joint arthritis occurs when the cartilage around the joint begins to wear away from an injury, or it decreases naturally through the aging process and normal wear and tear. Shoulder specialist serving the Austin, Texas area, Dr. Jeff Padalecki specializes in a wide range of SC joint injuries, including treating sternoclavicular joint pain associated with SC arthritis.

SC Arthritis Symptoms

The SC joint is susceptible to arthritis and osteoarthritis like any other joint in the human body. SC joint arthritis symptoms include a dull, constant sternoclavicular joint pain, weakness and stiffness in the collarbone area.

SC Arthritis Diagnostic Testing

Dr. Padalecki will conduct a thorough medical review and physical examination to determine if SC arthritis is the cause of sternoclavicular joint pain. During the examination, he will examine the affected shoulder for swelling, tenderness and pain in the area of the SC joint. He may also recommend X-rays and an MRI to confirm the SC joint arthritis diagnosis.

SC Arthritis Treatment

The symptoms of SC joint arthritis can be treated with non-surgical measures such as cortisone injections, medication, rest and heat in many cases. Physical therapy has also been proven to be helpful in many patients so mobility, strength and range of motion can be achieved. If conservative measures to alleviate sternoclavicular joint pain fail, surgical treatments are available to help treat SC arthritis. Dr. Padalecki will discuss surgical options with each patient at the first consultation.

SC Arthritis Post-Op

Dr. Padalecki will prescribe a rehabilitation program at the first post-operative visit, and rehabilitation will begin immediately following surgery. Rehabilitation is as important as the surgical repair itself. Without proper rehab, the chance of a full recovery is diminished. Depending on the surgical procedure performed by Dr. Padalecki, the patient will be required to perform exercises and strengthening moves with a physical therapist to regain shoulder strength and range of motion.

For additional resources on SC joint arthritis, or for more information on causes of sternoclavicular joint pain, please contact the Austin, Texas orthopedic practice of Dr. Jeff Padalecki, shoulder specialist.