Arthroscopically Assisted Reconstruction of Acute Acromioclavicular Joint Dislocations: Anatomic AC Ligament Reconstruction With Protective Internal Bracing-The "AC-RecoBridge" Technique

Arthrosc Tech. 2015 Apr 13;4(2):e153-61. doi: 10.1016/j.eats.2015.01.012. eCollection 2015 Apr.


An arthroscopically assisted technique for the treatment of acute acromioclavicular joint dislocations is presented. This pathology-based procedure aims to achieve anatomic healing of both the acromioclavicular ligament complex (ACLC) and the coracoclavicular ligaments. First, the acromioclavicular joint is reduced anatomically under macroscopic and radiologic control and temporarily transfixed with a K-wire. A single-channel technique using 2 suture tapes provides secure coracoclavicular stabilization. The key step of the procedure consists of the anatomic repair of the ACLC ("AC-Reco"). Basically, we have observed 4 patterns of injury: clavicular-sided, acromial-sided, oblique, and midportion tears. Direct and/or transosseous ACLC repair is performed accordingly. Then, an X-configured acromioclavicular suture tape cerclage ("AC-Bridge") is applied under arthroscopic assistance to limit horizontal clavicular translation to a physiological extent. The AC-Bridge follows the principle of internal bracing and protects healing of the ACLC repair. The AC-Bridge is tightened on top of the repair, creating an additional suture-bridge effect and promoting anatomic ACLC healing. We refer to this combined technique of anatomic ACLC repair and protective internal bracing as the "AC-RecoBridge." A detailed stepwise description of the surgical technique, including indications, technical pearls and pitfalls, and potential complications, is given.