The term "distal clavicle" refers to the outermost end of the clavicle bone, also known as the collarbone. The clavicle is a long, slender bone that runs horizontally across the front of the neck and shoulder, connecting the sternum (breastbone) to the acromion process of the scapula (shoulder blade). The distal clavicle is the lateral or outer end of the clavicle, which articulates with the acromion process, forming the acromioclavicular (AC) joint.
The AC joint is a diarthrodial joint, meaning it allows for limited movement. It is crucial for shoulder function and stability, as it helps transmit forces from the arm to the rest of the shoulder complex. This joint is held together by ligaments and surrounded by a joint capsule.
Treatment for injuries to the distal clavicle or AC joint depends on the severity of the condition. Mild injuries may be managed with rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy to regain strength and mobility. More severe injuries may require surgical intervention to stabilize the joint or repair damaged ligaments.
Understanding the anatomy and function of the distal clavicle and the AC joint is essential for diagnosing and managing shoulder injuries and conditions. If you suspect a shoulder injury or experience persistent shoulder pain, it is advisable to seek medical evaluation to determine the appropriate treatment plan.