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Concept: Acromioclavicular joint


PurposeIn this retrospective study we investigated the clinical and radiological outcome after operative treatment of acute Rockwood III-V injuries of the AC-joint using two acromioclavicular (AC) cerclages and one coracoclavicular (CC) cerclage with resorbable sutures. METHODS: Between 2007 and 2009 a total of 39 patients fit the inclusion criteria after operative treatment of acute AC joint dislocation. All patients underwent open reduction and anatomic reconstruction of the AC and CC-ligaments using PDS® sutures (Polydioxane, Ethicon, Norderstedt, Germany). Thirty-three patients could be investigated at a mean follow up of 32+/-9 months (range 24–56 months). RESULTS: The mean Constant score was 94.3+/-7.1 (range 73–100) with an age and gender correlated score of 104.2%+/-6.9 (88-123%). The DASH score (mean 3.46+/-6.6 points), the ASES score (94.6+/-9.7points) and the Visual Analogue Scale (mean 0.5+/-0,6) revealed a good to excellent clinical outcome. The difference in the coracoclavicular distance compared to the contralateral side was <5 mm for 28 patients, between 5-10 mm for 4 patients, and more than 10 mm for another patient. In the axial view, the anterior border of the clavicle was within 1 cm (ventral-dorsal direction) of the anterior rim of the acromion in 28 patients (85%). Re-dislocations occured in three patients (9%). CONCLUSION: Open AC joint reconstruction using AC and CC PDS cerclages provides good to excellent clinical results in the majority of cases. However, radiographically, the CC distance increased significantly at final follow up, but neither the amount of re-dislocation nor calcifications of the CC ligaments or osteoarthritis of the AC joint had significant influence on the outcome.Level of evidenceCase series, Level IV.

Concepts: Osteoarthritis, Joint, Joints, Ligament, Joint dislocation, Clavicle, Acromioclavicular joint, Acromion


The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological results of 37 consecutive patients (Ø age 37.9; 4♀, 33♂) following arthroscopically assisted and image intensifier-controlled AC joint reconstruction using the double TightRope™ technique for acute AC joint separations grade V according to Rockwood.

Concepts: Synovial joint, Joints, Acromioclavicular joint, Acromioclavicular ligament


Acute acromioclavicular joint dislocations indicated for surgery can be treated with several stabilization techniques. This in vitro study evaluated the acromioclavicular joint stability after 3 types of validated repair techniques compared with the native situation.

Concepts: Synovial joint, Joints, Joint dislocation, Acromioclavicular joint, Acromioclavicular ligament


Objective: Transfixation of the acromioclavicular (AC) joint is a well-established technique for treating Rockwood IV to VI lesions. However, several complications, including pin breakage or pin migration due to incorrect placement, have been reported in the literature. A cadaveric study was performed to investigate whether the use of 3D navigation might improve the accuracy of AC joint transfixation. Methods: Seventeen transfixations of the AC joint (8 non-navigated, 9 navigated) were performed minimally invasively in cadaveric shoulders. For the navigated procedures, a 3D C-arm (Ziehm Vision FD Vario 3D) and a navigation system (BrainLab VectorVision) were used. Reference markers were attached to the spina scapulae, then a 3D scan was performed and the data transferred to the navigation system. Two Kirschner wires (K-wires) were placed either freehand under fluoroscopic control (in the non-navigated group) or with the use of a navigated drill guide. Radiological analysis was performed with OsiriX software, measuring the distance of the K-wires from the center of the AC joint. For statistical analysis, Student’s t-test was performed, with the significance level being set to p < 0.05. Results: The maximum distance of the K-wires from the center of the AC joint was 5.4 ± 1.1 mm for the freehand non-navigated group and 3.1 ± 1.6 mm for the navigated group (p = 0.0054). The minimum distance of the K-wires from the AC joint center was 3.0 ± 0.6 mm for the freehand group and 1.6 ± 0.6 mm for the navigated group (p = 0.0002). The radiation time was significant lower for the freehand group (41.25 ± 20.4 seconds versus 79.5 ± 13.3 seconds for the navigated group, p = 0.004). There was no statistical difference between the groups with respect to the time required for surgery (11.25 ± 3.6 min for the freehand group and 12.6 ± 4.6 min for the navigated group; p = 0.475). In the freehand group, the AC joint was penetrated by both K-wires in 87.5% of the procedures, compared to 100% in the navigated group. Both K-wires were placed completely intraosseously in the clavicula in 50% of the procedures in the freehand group, compared to 88% in the navigated group. Conclusion: Three-dimensional navigation may improve the accuracy of AC joint transfixation techniques. However, the radiation time is increased when using the navigated procedure, while the overall operation time remains comparable. Nevertheless, a 3D C-arm with a variable isocentric design is recommended for the acquisition of the shoulder scans.

Concepts: Statistics, Statistical significance, Student's t-test, Statistical hypothesis testing, Synovial joint, Clavicle, Scapula, Acromioclavicular joint


INTRODUCTION: Numerous static and dynamic techniques have been described for the management of acute acromioclavicular (AC) joint dislocation. To date, no standard technique has been established and several complications have been described for each of these techniques. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the functional and radiographic outcomes of acute AC joint reconstruction after a mini-open technique using the double-button fixation system. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Twelve patients with acute AC joint dislocation treated with the double-button fixation system by one surgeon were retrospectively reviewed. Functional assessment was performed by an independent reviewer using the DASH, Constant and the VAS scores. The coracoclavicular (CC) distance of the affected shoulder was assessed on a standard radiograph and compared with the contralateral normal one. RESULTS: Eight patients were operated on for grade III AC joint dislocation and 4 for grade IV. The mean age of the patients at the time of surgery was 27.5 years. The mean follow-up was 18.25 months (range: 12-30 months). At the most recent follow-up, the mean Constant score was 94.8 (range: 84-100) showing a significant increase compared with the mean pre-operative value of 34.4 (range: 25-52) (p<0.001). The mean DASH score was significantly decreased from 19.6 (range: 14-28) preoperatively to 0.25 (range: 0-3) at the last follow-up (p<0.001). The mean VAS score showed a significant decrease from 5.75 (range: 4-7) to 0.2 (range: 0-2) (p<0.001). The mean CC distance on the operated shoulder was found to have no significant difference from the CC distance on the contralateral normal side (10.5 vs. 10mm) (p>0.05). There was no evidence of AC joint osteoarthrosis, CC calcification or osteolysis of the distal clavicle or the coracoid process. CONCLUSIONS: The proposed mini-open technique provides adequate exposure of the base of the coracoid with minimal damage to the soft tissues surrounding the CC ligaments while ensures an excellent cosmetic result. We recommend this fast and relatively simple technique for all type IV injuries and for type III injuries in heavy manual workers and high-demand upper extremities athletes.

Concepts: Synovial joint, Joints, Shoulder, Upper limb anatomy, Clavicle, Acromioclavicular joint, Acromion, Acromioclavicular ligament


To report functional and objective outcomes resulting from surgical treatment of patients with symptomatic type III through V acromioclavicular (AC) joint injury by use of a modification of the anatomic AC joint reconstruction developed by Carofino and Mazzocca.

Concepts: Medicine, Surgery, Physician, Synovial joint, Joints, Acromioclavicular joint, Acromioclavicular ligament


Stabilizing the acromioclavicular joint in the vertical and horizontal planes is challenging, and most current techniques do not reliably achieve this goal. The BiPOD repair is an arthroscopically assisted procedure performed with image intensifier guidance that reconstructs the coracoclavicular ligaments as well as the acromioclavicular ligaments to achieve bidirectional stability. Repair is achieved with a combination of 2-mm FiberTape (Arthrex, Naples, Florida) and 20-mm Poly-Tape (Neoligaments, Leeds, England) to achieve rigid repair, prevent bone abrasion, and promote tissue ingrowth. This study is a prospective review of the first 6 patients treated for high-grade acute acromioclavicular injury with the BiPOD technique. The study included 6 men who were 21 to 36 years old (mean, 27 years). At 6-month follow-up, complications were recorded and radiographic analysis was used to determine the coracoclavicular distance for vertical reduction and the amount of acromioclavicular translation on the Alexander axillary view was used to determine horizontal reduction. One patient had a superficial infection over the tape knot. The difference in coracoclavicular distance between the operated side and the uninvolved side was 9±2 mm preoperatively and 0.3±2 mm at 6-month follow-up. On Alexander axillary view, all 6 patients showed stable reduction, which is defined as a clavicle that is in line with the acromion. The findings show that BiPOD acromioclavicular reconstruction restores bidirectional stability of the acromioclavicular joint at 6 months. [Orthopedics. 201x; xx(x):exx-exx.].

Concepts: Bone, Joint, Orthopedic surgery, Horizontal plane, Clavicle, Acromioclavicular joint, Acromion, Acromioclavicular ligament


The acromioclavicular (AC) joint is of great importance for shoulder stability and one of the most frequently injured regions of the shoulder.

Concepts: Synovial joint, Joints, Upper limb anatomy, Instability, Clavicle, Acromioclavicular joint, Acromion, Acromioclavicular ligament



Fractures of the distal clavicle represent 15-30% of all clavicle fractures. The local osseoligamentous anatomy and deforming forces result in increased risk of delayed union and nonunion than fractures in other parts of the clavicle. These factors also contribute to challenges in fracture repair. Understanding these injuries and their imaging features enhances care and ensures patients are directed to appropriate management. We review the anatomy of the distal clavicle and surrounding ligaments, options for radiographic evaluation, relevant classification systems, and current concepts in management. Illustrative examples of specialized views are provided. Pediatric acromioclavicular joint pseudosubluxation is also reviewed, with findings specific to that injury.

Concepts: Bone, Physician, Management, Synovial joint, Clavicle fracture, Clavicle, Acromioclavicular joint, Acromion