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The clavicle, an “S”-shaped bone, is the only long bone that ossifies by an intramembranous process. It is the first bone in the body to ossify (fifth week of fetal gestation) and is the last bone to fuse (medial epiphysis at 25 years of age). The clavicle consists of cancellous bone surrounded by an outer layer of compact bone, and it is unique in that it does not have a medullary cavity.

The clavicle serves a variety of functions. First, it acts as a rigid base for muscular attachments of the shoulder, neck, and chest. It also provides protection for the major vessels at the base of the neck and for the nerves and vessels supplying the upper limb. In addition, it forms a strut that holds the GH joint in the parasagittal plane, increasing the range of motion of the shoulder as well as the power of the arm in motions above the horizontal.

The clavicle articulates with the manubrium of the sternum through the SC joint and with the acromion at the AC joint. It is attached to the coracoid by the coracoclavicular ligaments, the conoid medially and the trapezoid laterally.

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