Coraco-clavicular joint: normal variant in humans - A radiographic demonstration in the human and non-human primate

N. Haramati, R. A. Cook, B. Raphael, T. S. McNamara, R. B. Staron, F. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The coraco-clavicular joint is a true synovial joint that may become painful in some patients after trauma. Among the descriptions of this entity is the assertion that the coraco-clavicular joint is routinely seen in gorillas and gibbons. We undertook to assess the incidence of this variant among gorillas, gibbons, and other non-human primates. All available radiographs of large primates performed at the International Wildlife Conservation Park/Brox Zoo (IWCP) over the past 10 years were reviewed by a musculoskeletal radiologist (human radiology). All radiographs were taken during the normal clinical care of the non-human primate population of the IWCP and are a part of each animal's clinical record. Eighty-one non-human primate radiographs were suitable for study as they contained the region of interest. The 81 radiographic examinations included 14 different species of non-human primates. The coraco-clavicular joint was seen in 4 out of 9 silver-leaf langur, 2 out of 8 lowland gorilla, and in 1 out of 6 white-handed gibbon. In all non-human primate cases where the coraco-clavicular joint occurred, it was bilateral. In 1 out of 8 mandrill, there were very wide distal clavicular ends that articulated both with the coracoid and with the acromion. The coraco-clavicular joint differs from an ossified coracoclavicular ligament. The radiographic appearance is characteristic and is found in both humans and some non-human primate species. It may rarely become painful following trauma. When symptomatic in humans, resection of this anomalous articulation is curative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)117-119
Number of pages3
JournalSkeletal Radiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 1994
Externally publishedYes


  • Clavicle
  • Human
  • Joint diseases
  • Musculoskeletal abnormalities
  • Primates
  • Shoulder joint

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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