Distal clavicle osteolysis was first described in 1936 as a condition secondary to acute shoulder trauma. Today, distal clavicle osteolysis is described as a sequela of trauma associated with contact sports, falls, and motor vehicle accidents. In 1959, this condition was reported in an air-hammer operator without evidence of acute trauma. In 1982, Cahill reported on 45 male athletes with distal clavicle osteolysis, confirming repetitive microtrauma as an etiology. Forty-four of Cahill's patients were weight lifters.
Distal clavicle osteolysis is a pathologic process involving resorption of subchondral bone in the distal clavicle. The condition usually presents as pain localized to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint.
Synonyms and related keywords: clavicle osteolysis, shoulder pain, overuse injury, shoulder trauma, shoulder microtrauma, chronic shoulder pain, collar bone pain, broken collar bone, collar bone microtrauma
Author: Brett D Owens, MD 2006