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Posterior sternoclavicular joint injuries in the adolescent population: a meta-analysis.

BACKGROUND: Sternoclavicular dislocations are relatively infrequent and are generally divided into anterior and posterior disruptions, the former being the most common. While posterior sternoclavicular joint (PSCJ) injuries are very rare, they may be associated with life-threatening complications. The ideal management of these injuries, particularly in the adolescent population, has not been well described.

PURPOSE: Through a meta-analysis of PSCJ injuries in the adolescent, we aimed to (1) describe the epidemiology of PSCJ injuries in relation to the mechanism of injury, associated complications, and treatment preferences; (2) compare the success of closed reduction when attempted <48 versus >48 hours after the initial injury; and (3) compare the outcomes of closed versus open treatment.

STUDY DESIGN: Meta-analysis.

METHODS: A thorough review of the English literature was performed to identify all cases of PSCJ dislocations or medial clavicular physeal fractures in patients aged 12 to 18 years. Patient-level data for 140 patients were extracted from 79 studies.

RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 15.24 years. Forty-nine patients (35.00%) underwent closed treatment only, 42 (30.00%) open treatment alone, and 47 (33.57%) closed treatment followed by open treatment. Also, 55.8% of closed reductions performed within 48 hours were successful compared with 30.8% of those performed more than 48 hours after injury. After initial treatment, 92.31% of patients treated with closed reduction regained full function without recurrence as compared with 95.83% of patients treated operatively.

CONCLUSION: Closed and open methods have proven highly effective for the treatment of PSCJ injuries. However, follow-up data reported in the literature vary considerably. Closed reduction is most effective when attempted less than 48 hours after the initial injury.

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