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Sports Medicine

Distal clavicle marrow edema

10/10/2005

Question:

Ièm hoping someone can help me out and answer a quick question. What causes marrow edema? On my MRI report it says "subchondral marrow edema of distal clavicle", I`ve been having considerable pain in that area for months, and I`m just curious about how marrow gets swollen? And would this cause pain? Thanks.

Answer:

This is an MRI finding that is often associated with impingement syndrome, in which the humerus (upper arm bone) is impacting the bottom surface of the acromion and clavicle.  The impact of the two bones together can cause swelling (edema) of the marrow.  This certainly causes pain when moving the shoulder especially in "overhand throwing" motions.

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Response by:

Charles Webster, MD
Assistant Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati