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Arthrosc Tech. 2014 Feb 16;3(1):e165-73. doi: 10.1016/j.eats.2013.09.019. eCollection 2014.

Arthroscopic sternoclavicular joint resection arthroplasty: a technical note and illustrated case report.

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Steadman Philippon Research Institute, Vail, Colorado, U.S.A.
Steadman Philippon Research Institute, Vail, Colorado, U.S.A ; The Steadman Clinic, Vail, Colorado, U.S.A.


Open resection arthroplasty of the sternoclavicular (SC) joint has historically provided good long-term results in patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the SC joint. However, the procedure is rarely performed because of the risk of injury to vital mediastinal structures and concern regarding postoperative joint instability. Arthroscopic decompression of the SC joint has therefore emerged as a potential treatment option because of many recognized advantages including minimal tissue dissection, maintenance of joint stability, avoidance of posterior SC joint dissection, expeditious recovery, and improved cosmesis. There are, however, safety concerns given the proximity of neurovascular structures. In this article we demonstrate a technique for arthroscopic SC joint resection arthroplasty in a 26-year-old active man with bilateral, painful, idiopathic degenerative SC joint osteoarthritis. This case also highlights the pearls and pitfalls of arthroscopic resection arthroplasty for the SC joint. There were no perioperative complications. Four months postoperatively, the patient had returned to full activities, including weightlifting, without pain or evidence of SC joint instability. One year postoperatively, the patient showed substantial improvements in the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons score; Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation score; Quick Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand score; and Short Form 12 Physical Component Summary score over preoperative baseline values.

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