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Preoperative radiographs of 38 patients who had undergone resection of the lateral end of the clavicle were reviewed. Seven cases of osteolysis of the lateral end of the clavicle were found, of which four followed severe injury of the shoulder girdle.
Three of the cases were young male athletes, with nontraumatic osteolysis. One additional patient with this disorder, in whom resection has not yet been performed, was also included. All four had practised weightlifting and benchpressing as part of their training. Hence, a feasible explanation for the osteolytic process seems to be repeated microfractures due to stresses imposed by these activities. Several conservative regimens provided only temporary relief. After resection, the symptoms ceased and the patients were able to return to competitive sport. With the increasing interest in bodybuilding, non-traumatic osteolysis of the acromial end of the clavicle should be borne in mind in cases of pain in the shoulder in athletes.
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Accepted: December 1, 1986
© 1987 Published by Elsevier Inc.