Distal clavicle osteolysis

Dr Henry Knipe et al.

Distal clavicle osteolysis is the painful osseous resorption of the distal clavicle

Distal clavicle osteolysis most commonly affects young males. It is bilateral in ~20% 1

There are two distinct forms of distal clavicle osteolysis although these have identical histopathologic and imaging findings 1,2:

  • post-traumatic: weeks to more commonly months after injury
  • atraumatic: stress-induced overuse, seen in laborers and overhead athletes, especially in weight-lifters

May be normal early in the disease course. Progressive disease can manifest with cortical irregularity, subchondral cysts and erosion/tapering of the distal clavicle 1,3

Bone marrow edema of the distal clavicle more than the acromion with subchondral cystic change +/- subchondral fracture, and distal clavicle periostitis 1,2. Acromioclavicular joint effusion and capsular edema may be present 1

See article: distal clavicular erosion (differential).

Article information

rID: 82238
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Distal clavicular osteolysis (DCO)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: post-traumatic
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  • Case 2: post-traumatic
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