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Arthroscopic Resection of the Distal Aspect of the Clavicle with Concomitant Subacromial Decompression
Scott David Martin, MD; Thomas E. Baumgarten, MD; James R. Andrews, MD
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Investigation performed at the American Sports Medicine Institute, Birmingham, Alabama
Scott David Martin, MD Brigham Orthopedic Associates, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 75 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail address: sdmartin@bics. bwh.harvard.edu
Thomas E. Baumgarten, MD James R. Andrews, MD American Sports Medicine Institute, 1313 13th Street South, Birmingham, AL 35205
No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article. No funds were received in support of this study.

J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2001 Mar 01;83(3):328-328
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Background: Arthroscopic subacromial decompression and arthroscopic resection of the acromioclavicular joint as separate procedures have been well documented. However, there is little information on the success rate of resection with concomitant decompression. In this study, we retrospectively evaluated the results of a consecutive group of patients who underwent arthroscopic resection of the acromioclavicular joint with concomitant subacromial decompression.

Methods: We evaluated the surgical results in thirty-one consecutive patients (thirty-two shoulders) with acromioclavicular pathology with concomitant subacromial impingement. The mean age of the patients at the time of surgery was thirty-six years (range, eighteen to sixty-seven years). Twenty-five patients, including four professional athletes, were actively involved in sports activities. The mean duration of follow-up was four years and ten months (range, three to eight years). The follow-up examination included clinical evaluation, chart review, radiographic analysis, and isokinetic testing of both upper extremities.

Results: Of the twenty-five patients who participated in sports, twenty-two (including the four professional athletes) returned to their previous level of sports activity. Twenty-six patients had no pain, three reported mild pain on strenuous repetitive overhead activity, two (both weight-lifters) had occasional pain in the acromioclavicular joint and the lateral aspect of the shoulder with bench-pressing, and two (both baseball players) had mild pain in the posterior aspect of the shoulder with throwing. All of the patients were satisfied with the results. In the absence of a complete rotator cuff tear, isokinetic strength-testing of both upper extremities failed to demonstrate any weakness of the involved shoulder. The mean functional score for individual activities was 2.7 points (range, 2.1 to 3.0 points) preoperatively and 3.9 points (range, 3.6 to 4.0 points) postoperatively (p = 0.0001).

No patient had superior migration of the clavicle. The amount of distal clavicular resection averaged 9 mm (range, 7 to 15 mm). One patient had heterotopic ossification at the resection site, with mild pain on direct palpation of the acromioclavicular joint and on strenuous overhead activity. Five patients had calcification at the anterior deltoid insertion into the acromion that was asymptomatic, with no impingement on overhead activity and no pain on direct palpation.

Conclusions: We found excellent results with arthroscopic resection of the acromioclavicular joint and concomitant subacromial decompression. When this procedure is performed on properly selected patients, the results are similar to those of an open approach.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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