Osteolysis refers to an active resorption or dissolution of bone tissue as part of an ongoing disease process.


While bone resorption is commonly associated with many diseases or joint problems, the term osteolysis generally refers to a problem common to artificial joint replacements such as total hip replacements, total knee replacements and total shoulder replacements.


In total hip replacement, the particles worn off the gliding surface of the ball and socket joint often cause osteolysis. As the body attempts to clean up these loose particles of plastic or metal, the bone grows away from the implant, causing it to loosen. This may require a revision surgery (replacement parts).

Distal clavicular osteolysis (DCO) is often associated with problems weightlifters have with their acromioclavicular joints due to high stresses put on that the clavicle as it meets with the acromion.


A common surgery to cure DCOis re-sectioning of the distal clavicle, removing a few millimeters of bone from the very end of the the bone.


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