Sternoclavicular joint

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Sternoclavicular joint
Sternoclavicular joint. Anterior view.
Pectoral girdles-en.svg
Sternoclavicular joint visible near center but not labeled.
Latin articulatio sternoclavicularis
MeSH A02.835.583.781
TA A03.5.04.001
FMA 25883
Anatomical terminology

The sternoclavicular joint or sternoclavicular articulation is the joint between the sternum and the clavicle. It is structurally classed as a synovial double-plane joint and functionally classed as a diarthrotic joint. It is composed of two portions separated by an articular disc of fibrocartilage. The bone areas entering into its formation are the sternal end of the clavicle, the upper and lateral part of the sternum, (the clavicular notch), and the cartilage of the first rib, visible from the outside as the suprasternal notch. The articular surface of the clavicle is much larger than that of the sternum, and is invested with a layer of cartilage, which is considerably thicker than that on the sternum.


The sternoclavicular joint allows movement of the clavicle in three planes, predominantly in the anteroposterior & vertical planes, although some rotation also occurs.A description of movement would be elevation, depression, and circumduction. Muscles don't directly act on this joint, although almost all actions of the shoulder girdle or the scapula will cause some motion at this articulation.

The unique double-hinged articular disk found at the junction of the clavicular head and manubrium allows for movement between the clavicle and the disk during elevation and depression of the scapula. This disk also allows motion between the sternum (manubrium) and itself during protraction and retraction of the scapula.[1]


Clinical significance[edit]

Trauma may result in sternoclavicular joint dislocation. Posterior dislocation puts the mediastinal structures at risk. Spontaneous subluxation also occurs sometimes. In SAPHO syndrome there may be arthropathy of the sternoclavicular joint. Septic arthritis may rarely affect the sternoclavicular joint.

See also[edit]


This article incorporates text in the public domain from the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. ^ Lippert, Lynn. Clinical Kinesiology and Anatomy, 4th edition; pg.95-96.

External links[edit]