Sternoclavicular sprain

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A sternoclavicular sprain is usually due to a direct blow to the shoulder. The clavicle connects to the sternum in the center of the chest at the upper region. Once the shoulder sustained a direct strike, the sternoclavicular joint might be damaged.

Even though this injury is considered rare, it can be severe and necessitates medical attention once it occurs. It is important to note that the bones are positioned close to the main blood vessels. The sternoclavicular joint is responsible for forward movement of the arm and shoulder.

What are the indications of a sternoclavicular sprain?

If an individual is suspected with a sternoclavicular sprain, there are symptoms that are present such as the following:

  • Pain if the area at the sternoclavicular joint where the clavicle meets the sternum is pressed
  • Pain radiating into the shoulder
  • Evident bony lump in the joint
    Sternoclavicular sprain
    Pain radiating into the shoulder is one of the indications.


The individual should rest if the injury is minor and might be able to resume sport in a few weeks but the pain might still be present for a few months.

Once a therapist is consulted, the severity of the injury is determined and recommend the suitable time to resume sport. A CT scan of the joint might be taken and if it is bad, the individual should be hospitalized due to the risk of damage to the blood vessels.

It is important to note that a sternoclavicular sprain will not always show up in an X-ray. A procedure called clavicle resection might be done. On the other hand, it is seldom done and only 50% successful.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on sternoclavicular sprain is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize and manage sprains by taking a standard first aid course with one of our training providers.

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