A new minimally invasive arthroscopic technique for reconstruction of the acromioclavicular joint

Authors: Elser F, Chernchujit B, Ansah P, Imhoff AB.

References: Unfallchirurg. 2005 May 25; [Epub ahead of print]

BACKGROUND: Over 100 techniques for acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) reconstruction have been described. Most of these techniques are invasive and are associated with a high complication rate. We therefore developed a new minimally invasive arthroscopic technique for reconstruction of the ACJ.

METHODS: The new operation technique is described in detail. We operated 13 patients with Rockwood IV or V dislocations of the ACJ using this new technique. Intra- and postoperative complications were recorded. Each patient was evaluated after 3, 6, and 9 months using the Constant score for shoulder function and radiographs (anteroposterior, axillary, and Zanca views) of the operated and nonoperated shoulder for radiologic evaluation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the first clinical results and complication rates using this technique.

RESULTS: The mean follow-up was 9 months. Of the 13 patients, 12 could be included in the study and we had 1 dropout. The mean Constant score was 97; all patients were satisfied with the postoperative shoulder function and cosmetics. Radiologically we observed ten patients with anatomic reduction and two with a subluxation between 2 and 4 mm compared to the nonoperated side. In one patient we determined coracoclavicular ossifications which were asymptomatic. There were no complications intra- and postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS: These first results suggest that this is a good and safe technique for ACJ reconstruction. Further randomized studies with more patients have to follow to confirm the results.

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