When a joint has been injured, over time, even after the injury has been treated, arthritis can set in. This is true even for the sternoclavicular joint. If the sternoclavicular joint has experienced a sprain, a subluxation, a dislocation, or a fracture, then the surrounding ligaments and cartilage most likely suffered some damage—whether mild or serious. Arthritis of the sternoclavicular joint occurs when the cartilage around the joint begins to wear away (either from an injury such as these) or it decreases (naturally through the aging process and natural degenerative wear and tear). Osteoarthritis is a more severe form of arthritis and will continue to get worse with age. As with any joint, the sternoclavicular joint is susceptible to getting arthritis and osteoarthritis. Symptoms will include a dull, constant ache, shoulder weakness, and stiffness in the collarbone area. The symptoms of sternoclavicular joint arthritis can be treated with medication, rest and heat. Physical therapy has also been proven to be helpful in many patients so that mobility, strength, and range of motion can be managed. Surgical treatments are available to help treat arthritis of the SC joint.
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