Background: The sternoclavicular joint may become unstable as a result of trauma or medial clavicle resection for arthritis. Allograft reconstruction with the figure-of-8 configuration is commonly used. This study was conducted to determine the outcome of sternoclavicular joint reconstruction using an alternative graft configuration.
Methods: Between 2005 and 2013, 19 sternoclavicular joint reconstructions were performed using a semitendinous allograft in a sternal docking configuration. The median age at surgery was 44 years (range, 15-79 years). Indications included instability in 16 (anterior, 13; posterior, 3) or medial clavicle resection for osteoarthritis in 3. The median follow-up time was 3 years (range, 1-9 years).
Results: Two reconstructions (10.5%) underwent revision surgery, 1 additional patient had occasional subjective instability, and the remaining 16 (84%) were considered stable. Sternoclavicular joint reconstruction led to improved pain (visual analog scale for pain subsided from 5 to 1 point, P < .01), with pain being rated as mild or none for 15 shoulders. At the most recent follow-up, the median 11-item version of the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand and American Shoulder and Elbow Surgeons scores were 11 (interquartile range [IQR], 0-41) and 88 (IQR, 62-100) respectively. The cosmetic aspect of the shoulder was satisfactory in 16 reconstructions (84%), with a median of 10 points (IQR, 9-10 points) on the visual analog scale for overall satisfaction.
Conclusion: Reconstruction of the sternoclavicular joint with a semitendinous allograft in a sternal docking fashion restores stability in most patients requiring surgery for instability of the sternoclavicular joint or medial clavicle resection for osteoarthritis.
Keywords: Sternoclavicular joint; allograft reconstruction; clavicle; instability; semitendinous allograft; sternoclavicular docking technique.