Combined arthroscopically assisted coraco- and acromioclavicular stabilization of acute high-grade acromioclavicular joint separations

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2018 Jan;26(1):212-220. doi: 10.1007/s00167-017-4643-2. Epub 2017 Jul 17.


Purpose and hypothesis: Due to high rate of persisting dynamic posterior translation (DPT) following isolated coracoclavicular double-button technique for reconstruction of the acromioclavicular (AC) joint reported in the literature, an additional acromioclavicular cerclage was added to the procedure. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical and radiological results of patients with high-grade AC-joint instability treated with a double TightRope technique with an additional percutaneous acromioclavicular cerclage.

Methods: Fifty-nine patients (6 f/53 m; median age 38.3 (range 21.5-63.4 years) who sustained an acute high-grade AC-joint dislocation (Rockwood type V) were treated using the above-mentioned technique. At the final follow-up, the constant score (CS), the subjective shoulder value (SSV), the Taft score (TF) and the acromioclavicular joint instability score (ACJI) as well as bilateral anteroposterior stress views with 10 kg of axial load and bilateral modified Alexander views were obtained.

Results: At a median follow-up of 26.4 (range 20.3-61.0) months, 34 patients scored a median of 90 (33-100) points in the CS, 90 (25-100) % in the SSV, 11 (4-12) points in the TF and 87 (43-100) points in the ACJI. The coracoclavicular (CC) distance was 12.1 (6.5-19.8) mm and the CC difference 2.0 (0.0-11.0) mm. Two patients (5.8%) showed a complete DPT of the AC joint, and fourteen patients (41.1%) displayed a partial DPT. The overall revision rate was 11.7%. Two patients presented implant irritation, one patient a recurrent instability, and one patient suffered from a local infection.

Conclusion: The arthroscopically assisted and image-intensifier-controlled double TightRope technique with an additional percutaneous acromioclavicular cerclage leads to good and excellent clinical results after a follow-up of 2 years. The incidence of persisting dynamic horizontal translation is lower compared to isolated coracoclavicular stabilization. Thus, we recommend using the double TightRope implant with an additional acromioclavicular cerclage.

Level of evidence: IV.

Keywords: Acromioclavicular joint dislocation; Acromioclavicular joint instability; Arthroscopic coracoclavicular stabilization; TightRope.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Acromioclavicular Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Acromioclavicular Joint / surgery*
  • Adult
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Joint Dislocations / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Dislocations / surgery*
  • Joint Instability / diagnostic imaging
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult