Distal Clavicle Osteolysis Clinical Presentation

Updated: Sep 28, 2022
  • Author: Brett D Owens, MD; Chief Editor: Mohit N Gilotra, MD, MS, FAAOS, FAOA  more...
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Most patients with distal clavicle osteolysis (DCO) present with pain over the distal end of the clavicle and acromioclavicular (AC) joint, which is usually described as a dull ache.

Patients with an etiology of trauma report a specific event as the start of their symptoms. In patients with repetitive/overuse injuries, pain is exacerbated by athletic or work activity. In weightlifters, most symptoms occur with the bench press and related exercises. [10]  A study by Nevalainen et al found that high-intensity bench pressing was a risk factor for DCO but that low-intensity bench pressing was not. [11]


Physical Examination

On physical examination, patients have point tenderness over the affected AC joint, and cross-chest maneuvers elicit pain. Usually, the AC joint is not unstable; however, crepitation may be present. Range of motion (ROM) of the glenohumeral joint should be full.