Everything you need to know about sternoclavicular sprains


A sternoclavicular sprain is an injury to the joint where the breastbone meets the clavicle. Sternoclavicular injuries are very rare and they happen when someone meets with an accident with a lot of force. Such injuries are very common for rugby as well as football players. These injuries normally happen when the athlete gets stuck on the side or back of the shoulder. The resulting injury is normally a sprain and sometimes injured people can end up dislocating their joints. In such injuries, the clavicle gets dislocated towards the back or forwards to the sternum. If the clavicle has been dislocated backwards, then that can the reason for a lot of worries and the situation can prove to be very dangerous. Clavicle dislocating backwards means that there is some danger to the blood vessels or the nerves as they are located behind the sternum and the clavicle.

What are the symptoms of sternoclavicular sprains?

There can be a lot of symptoms of sternoclavicular sprains right from shoulder pain to the clavicle or sternal pain. You need to keep an eye out for such symptoms and get them checked out by a surgeon, otherwise, the situation can get worse, as time passes by. If the clavicle has dislocated backwards towards the sternum, then you might have a lot of difficulty swallowing or breathing, so you should definitely get them checked out by an expert, otherwise, if the situation worsens, then you can be in a lot of discomfort and pain.

What are the possible treatment options for sternoclavicular sprains?

If you feel that you have a sternoclavicular sprain, then it is very important for you to get it inspected by a physician. It is very important for you to engage the services of expert sternoclavicular Cambridge physicians to perform a thorough history and physical examination of the sprain. This will help them in determining the source of the pain, that you are plagued with. X-rays might be suggested by the sternoclavicular Cambridge physician but if it is difficult to evaluate the full extent of the injury through the X-rays then further testing in the form of a CT and an MRI scan, may also be suggested. The sternoclavicular Cambridge physician may suggest treatments like icing for lessening the pain that you are suffering from. Inflammation and pain control might be suggested with the help of medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen.

The sternoclavicular Cambridge physician might also advise you to use a brace or sling to lessen the pain. If the clavicle gets dislocated, then the treatment will depend on the direction in which the clavicle has been dislocated, either frontwards or backwards. If the clavicle has been dislocated frontwards, then the sternoclavicular Cambridge physician might try to put it back in place and might even suggest the use of a sling or a brace. If the clavicle has been dislocated backwards, the sternoclavicular Cambridge physician might suggest that you go for a surgery. If you experience difficulty breathing, then the situation should be treated as an absolute emergency and you might have to see a sternoclavicular Cambridge surgeon.

How can athletes prevent sternoclavicular sprains?

The thing is that there is nothing which can be done for preventing such sprains. If you are an athlete like a football or a rugby player, then you have high chances of being vulnerable to such sprains. As an athlete who participates in contact sports, you should do exercise that can improve your shoulder and chest wall strength. Athletes should return to play when they feel that their sprain is controlled. It is important that they only return to play when they feel that their range of motion in the arm is normal. If players return to the playing field before complete recovery then it can result in long-term complications.

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