How is an SC Joint Injury Diagnosed?
A thorough history and physical examination will be performed by Dr. Yau to diagnose the injury. During the physical examination, he will test the injured arm’s overall range of motion, as well as the joint’s tenderness, stability and pain. X-rays are obtained and are typically normal. A CT or MRI scan is often performed to view the bony and soft tissue structures in greater detail to confirm SC joint injury.
What is the Treatment for an SC Joint Injury?
Majority of SC joint injuries are treated without surgery. Dr. Yau will prescribe rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medications and temporary immobilization of the affected shoulder in a sling. Physical therapy may also be initiated to restore function to the SC joint. Occasionally, a corticosteroid injection may be given into the SC joint for persistent pain.
If a patient fails conservative treatment or have an acute posterior SC dislocation, Dr. Yau will recommend surgical treatment. In cases of dislocation, the SC joint is placed back into its proper position under anesthesia. If it is unstable, an open ligament repair or reconstruction may be performed.
If you are experiencing sternoclavicular joint pain and believe you have an SC joint injury, please contact the Santa Barbara, Goleta, Santa Maria and Ventura, California orthopedic office of shoulder specialist Dr. Jervis Yau.