Arthroscopic resection of the distal clavicle with a superior approach

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 1995 Jan-Feb;4(1 Pt 1):41-50. doi: 10.1016/s1058-2746(10)80007-2.


Forty-one patients (41 shoulders) with acromioclavicular joint disease refractory to conservative treatment underwent arthroscopic distal clavicle resection. Thirty-one men and 10 women with an average age of 32 years were studied. The dominant extremity was involved in 68% of the patients. At an average follow-up period of 31 months (range 24 to 49 months), 18 excellent, 16 good, and seven poor results were found. Twenty-seven (93%) of 29 shoulders with acromioclavicular arthritis or osteolysis of the distal clavicle went on to have satisfactory results compared with only seven (58%) of 12 shoulders with previous grade II acromioclavicular separations or acromioclavicular hypermobility. Total amount of bone removal did not correlate with success, if the resection was even. Five reoperations were done; one uneven resection was revised with arthroscopy, and four shoulders underwent acromioclavicular stabilization procedures. The high failure rate in patients with even subtle acromioclavicular instability (42%) suggests that in these cases formal stabilization with ligament reconstruction should be considered in addition to resection of the distal clavicle.

MeSH terms

  • Acromioclavicular Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Acromioclavicular Joint / physiopathology
  • Acromioclavicular Joint / surgery*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthroscopes
  • Arthroscopy* / methods
  • Clavicle / anatomy & histology
  • Clavicle / diagnostic imaging
  • Clavicle / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoarthritis / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis / surgery
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome