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Am J Sports Med. 2013 Mar;41(3):615-21. doi: 10.1177/0363546512473438. Epub 2013 Jan 31.

Arthroscopically assisted 2-bundle anatomic reduction of acute acromioclavicular joint separations: 58-month findings.

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Department of Trauma Surgery, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University of Munich, Munich, Germany.



Currently, no clinical midterm results have been reported on arthroscopically assisted reduction of the acutely dislocated acromioclavicular (AC) joint using suture-button devices for fixation.


Athroscopically assisted reduction of the acutely dislocated AC joint yields satisfactory clinical outcomes without loss of reduction, clavicle migration, or AC joint degeneration at midterm follow-up evaluation.


Case series; Level of evidence, 4.


The clinical and radiographic outcomes of 23 of 30 consecutive patients (21 men, 2 women) who underwent anatomic reduction for acute AC joint dislocation using 2 suture-button devices between 2006 and 2007 were reviewed. Radiographic evaluation was performed by measurement of coracoclavicular (CC) distance and AC displacement. Clinical evaluation included a visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, the Constant score, the simple shoulder test, and the Short Form-36. Previously, this same patient collective was reviewed after 2 years of follow-up using similar methods.


All 23 patients were available for midterm follow-up examination 58 months postoperatively. There were 3 Rockwood type III, 3 type IV, and 17 type V acromioclavicular joint separations. Mean ± SD follow-up was 58 ± 5.6 months (range, 51-67 months). Most patients (96%) remained very satisfied or satisfied with the procedure outcome. The VAS and Constant score improved significantly when compared with baseline (0.3 ± 0.6 and 91.5 ± 4.7 at 58 months postoperatively vs 4.5 ± 1.9 and 34.5 ± 6.9 at baseline) and remained essentially unchanged when compared with the 2-year outcome scores (0.3 ± 0.6 and 91.5 ± 4.7 at 58 months postoperatively vs 0.25 ± 0.5 and 94.3 ± 3.2 at 2 years). Radiographs showed 8 radiographic failures (undercorrection, posterior displacement, or both) and 4 additional overcorrections of the CC distance. When comparing with 24-month data, 17 of 20 radiographs remained unchanged; 1 case of previous overcorrection drifted into normal AC alignment and 2 cases increased in posterior subluxation of the clavicle.


Arthroscopically assisted reduction of the acutely dislocated AC joint provides satisfactory clinical results 58 months after surgery. Compared with the baseline, all patients improved significantly. Two of 23 patients revealed an increased posterior dislocation compared with evaluation 24 months after surgery. No further migration of the clavicle or AC joint degeneration was observed.

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