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    Orthosports Medical Center  P.O. Box 71055, Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, U.A.E.  25°14'14.0"N 55°16'03.6"E ,    +971 04 345 0601     Get in touch
Distal Clavicle Osteolysis

Distal clavicle osteolysis occurs when the bones of the distal clavicle wear down. This condition can result from trauma or repetitive usage of ligaments, often associated with heavy weight lifting. This condition is common among weightlifters.

Chief complaints are:

  • Feeling of excruciating pain in the front of your shoulder -aka, the acromioclavicular joint.
  • Palpation or pressing of the acromioclavicular joint is painful.
  • The front of the shoulder has general weakness.
  • Inability to move shoulder well.
  • Unable to use the strength of your shoulder, as in lifting weights.
  • Pain, especially when lying on the affected shoulder.

Physical Examination

Your orthopedic specialist will ask some questions, and find out your activities and how they may relate to your discomfort. They will then ask you to locate the pain. You’ll show them which movements stimulate pain in the area. Gentle palpation will be done to locate which part of the shoulder is causing the pain.

Diagnostic Test

  • X-ray – To see the bony structure of the clavicle that are degenerating.
  • Ultrasound – may be used to visualize soft tissues that are not seen with an x-ray.
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging – MRI gives clearer image not only with the bone but most especially the affected soft tissues in the area.


When you’re dealing with pain, it’s easy to fall out of your routine. To stay on top of life, it’s important to take good care of your body. Avoid lifting heavy objects. If you are feel any symptoms, make sure to take a good rest. To be safe, consult your physician immediately if you are experiencing even the slightest symptoms. Prevention is better than a cure.

As part of the conservative management for this condition, your specialist may also advise you to do a course of physiotherapy. Your physiotherapist will help you properly do your exercises. They teach you good strengthening and conditioning exercises as well.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed as well.

Steroid/cortisone injection – this treatment will help alleviate shoulder pain and discomfort, although injections are usually avoided if possible. We treat this as our second to the last option before deciding on surgery. (Injection FAQs)

Surgery – As a last option, if all of the above doesn’t seem to help you with your symptoms, then we may proceed with surgery. This surgery is called Distal Clavicle Resection. This procedure may be done arthroscopically to repair and stabilize the affected shoulder.

Our Orthopedic Specialists here at OrthoSports Medical Center can help you address your symptoms and conditions accordingly.

If you’re feeling pain in your shoulders and would want to be examined by our orthopedic specialist, click here.

If you’ve been referred by your specialist for physiotherapy, click here.