Strategies in Trauma and Limb Reconstruction

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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 2 ( August, 2018 ) > List of Articles


Surgical reconstruction of the acromioclavicular joint: Can we identify the optimal approach?

Alexander S. North, Tracey Wilkinson

Keywords : Acromioclavicular, Rockwood, Reconstruction, Anatomical, Hook plate, Biomechanics

Citation Information : North AS, Wilkinson T. Surgical reconstruction of the acromioclavicular joint: Can we identify the optimal approach?. 2018; 13 (2):69-74.

DOI: 10.1007/s11751-018-0314-1

License: CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Published Online: 01-06-2016

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2018; The Author(s).


Injuries to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint are common, tending to occur secondary to traumatic injuries. Rockwood grade IV, V and VI injuries involve complete dislocation of the joint and require surgical reconstruction, with inconclusive literature on whether grade III injuries should be surgically or conservatively managed. There are over one hundred reported surgical techniques which reconstruct the AC joint, with little indication of which methods achieve the best results. Techniques can generally be considered as: anatomical reduction; CC ligament reconstruction; and anatomical reconstruction. Techniques which implant hardware to reduce the AC joint, such as the hook plate, are commonly implemented, but have been shown to alter the mechanics of the joint significantly, resulting in poor short-term and long-term outcomes. Methods which reconstruct both the acromioclavicular and coracoclavicular ligaments are comparatively new, and early reports suggest that they achieve biomechanical properties similar to the native joint. More focus should be placed on such techniques in the future to determine whether they offer a more suitable approach to improve patient outcomes following AC joint reconstruction.

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