Sternoclavicular joint instability is a condition that occurs when the bones and structures that make up this region of the shoulder joint do not work as they should. Similar to instability of the shoulder where the ball of the shoulder joint does not fit properly into the shoulder socket, patients with SC instability experience similar symptoms. Patients who have experienced a sternoclavicular joint subluxation, dislocation or sprain, or those who have a degenerative condition, such as arthritis of the SC joint, may experience ongoing sternoclavicular joint instability if the condition is not corrected or fixed properly. Patients in the Vail, Aspen and Denver, Colorado area requiring treatment can count on Dr. Peter Millett to correct instability of the SC joint.

SC Instability Symptoms

Sternoclavicular joint instability occurs when the ligaments connecting the clavicle (collarbone) and sternum (breastbone) are weak, stretched or loose. Patients with SC instability will complain of mild pain and an uncomfortable sensation that feels as if their joint will shift out of place or pop out of position. Many times, this feeling is an apprehension or fear, but the actual physical symptom may not accompany that fear.

SC Instability Diagnosis

Patients who have sternoclavicular joint instability will receive a thorough exam by Dr. Millett so he can assess the underlying condition or disorder that is causing the instability. Dr. Millett may also recommend a series of X-rays, an MRI scan and/or a CT scan to determine the extent of shoulder damage, as well as to confirm the shoulder injury causing the instability.

SC Joint Instability Treatment

In most patients requiring surgery, Dr. Millett will perform an SC instability repair that involves tightening the shoulder capsule and ligaments so the SC joint is firmly connected. This will help reduce the mobility of the joint. Dr. Millett will explain all treatment options at the patient’s first consultation.

For additional information on sternoclavicular joint instability, or SC instability treatment options, please contact Dr. Peter Millett, orthopedic shoulder surgeon and sports medicine specialist in the greater Vail, Aspen and Denver, Colorado area.