Rare Conditions

Clavicle Pseudoarthrosis

Clavicle pseudoarthrosis (meaning fake joint) is a rare condition.  It occurs when the normal growth centers of the clavicle do not join (fuse) during development.  It is almost always right sided, a fact which is may be related to pressure from the subclavian artery.  Clavicle pseudoarthrosis is generally painless but it causes a large prominence in the center aspect of the clavicle- it can be functionally limiting.

Clavicle pseudoarthrosis.  Note the prominence on the left side compared to right.
Another view of clavicle pseudoarthrosis
The x- ray in clavicle pseudoarthrosis shows a “joint” or separation in the midportion of the clavicle.
Two x- rays showing clavicle pseudoarthrosis

Treatment for clavicle pseudoarthrosis is based purely on symptoms.  If the bump does not interfere with function (complaints may be related to backpack straps or sports), then observation is reasonable.  If the bump is causing a problem or if painful, operative intervention can be considered.  Surgery removes the interval between the bone ends (i.e., the fake joint) and the bone ends are approximated and held in place with a plate and screws. The bone typically heals uneventfully.  Pain and deformity can reliably be treated.  Complications with surgery are rare.
X- ray demonstrating clavicle plating in pseudoarthrosis

After reconstruction for clavicle pseudoarthrosis
Another view after reconstruction for clavicle pseudoarthrosis


  1. This surgery was approximately 9 months ago. Patient is doing very well and both the patient and the family are pleased with the results- both functional and appearance. The bump is gone and the associated difficulties it caused have been resolved. Good luck.

  2. Thanks for this information. I'm hoping you still check your blog as the last date on this condition is 2013. I am looking for a doctor on the east coast/mid atlantic region that performs this surgery. Thanks for your help!

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