Before proceeding to know the meaning of the term clavicle, we have to proceed to discover its etymological origin. In this case we can state that it is a word derived from Latin. It exactly comes from the “clavicle”, which is the bone that joins the shoulder blade with the sternum.
It is a word that was formed from the sum of two clear components:
-The noun “clavis”, which means “key”.
-The suffix “-ula”, which can be translated as “small”.
Clavicle is also synonymous with “little key”.
The etymology is linked to a small-sized key, although the concept is used within the framework of anatomy.
The clavicles are the bones of the human being that are found in the upper chest sector, articulating with the acromion of the shoulder blade and the sternum. With the appearance of a letter S written in italics, they link the thorax and the upper limbs.
The clavicle and shoulder blade (also called the scapula) form the shoulder girdle, which is divided into the posterior, middle, and anterior regions. Each clavicle has two extremities, two edges, and two faces. Unlike the so-called long bones, it does not have a diaphysis, epiphysis, or medullary canal.
Various injuries and disorders can affect the clavicle. Its fracture is relatively frequent, being more common in children than in adults. In some cases, a clavicle fracture occurs as a consequence of a complicated delivery.
Regarding clavicle fractures, we can highlight another series of relevant aspects such as the following:
-There are three groups of fractures: I, II and III.
-Group I refers to those that occur in the middle 1/3 while those of group II affect the external 1/3 and those of group III to 1/3 internal.
-Those of group II are divided into those of Neer type I, where the coracoclavicular ligaments are intact; those of Neer’s class II, where there is injury to the coracoclavicular ligaments and those of type III. The latter are identified by having a fracture-detachment of what is called the coracoid plate.
Immobilization and surgery are the most common treatments to deal with the aforementioned types of clavicle fracture. To choose one or the other option, it will be necessary to be very clear about the group affected by it and the severity of it.
The acromioclavicular dislocation, moreover, involves damage to the joint that connects one end of the clavicle to an edge of the acromion.
Notably, the clavicles have disappeared in most animals. In ungulate mammals, for example, the absence of the clavicle gives the shoulder blade greater mobility. In the case of birds, the clavicles were fused with the interclavicle for the appearance of a new bone.