Coracoclavicular joint: osteologic study of 1020 human clavicles

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We examined 1020 dry clavicles from cadavers of Italian origin to determine the prevalence of the coracoclavicular joint (ccj), a diarthrotic synovial joint occasionally present between the conoid tubercle of the clavicle and the superior surface of the horizontal part of the coracoid process. Five hundred and nine clavicles from individuals of different ages were submitted to X-ray examination. Using radiography, we measured the entire length and the index of sinuosity of the anterior lateral curve, on which the distance between the conoid tubercle and the coracoid process depends. We also used radiography to record the differences in prevalence of arthritis in two neighbouring joints, the acromioclavicular and sternoclavicular joints. Of the 1020 clavicles, eight (0.8%) displayed the articular facet of the ccj. No statistical correlation was found between clavicular length and the index of sinuosity of the anterior lateral curve. The prevalence of arthritis in clavicles with ccj was higher than that revealed in clavicles without ccj. The prevalence of ccj in the studied clavicles is lower than that observed in Asian cohorts. Furthermore, ccj is not conditioned by either length or sinuosity of the anterior lateral curve of the clavicle. Finally, the assumption that ccj is a predisposing factor for degenerative changes of neighbouring joints is statistically justified.

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