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Phys Sportsmed. 2011 Feb;39(1):116-22. doi: 10.3810/psm.2011.02.1869.

Acromioclavicular joint injuries: anatomy, diagnosis, and treatment.

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The Steadman Clinic, Vail, CO, USA.


Acromioclavicular (AC) joint injuries are common in athletic populations and account for 40% to 50% of shoulder injuries in many contact sports, including lacrosse, hockey, rugby and football. The AC joint is stabilized by static and dynamic restraints, including the coracoclavicular (CC) ligaments. Knowledge of these supporting structures is important when identifying injury and directing treatment. Management of AC injuries should be guided by severity of injury, duration of injury and symptoms, and individual patient factors. These help determine how best to guide management, and whether patients should be treated surgically or nonsurgically. Treatment options for AC injuries continue to expand, and include arthroscopic-assisted anatomic reconstruction of the CC ligaments. The purpose of this article is to review the anatomy, diagnostic methods, and treatment options for AC joint injuries. In addition, the authors' preferred reconstruction technique and outcomes are presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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