[Arthroscopic stabilisation of acute acromioclavicular dislocation using the TighRope device]

L Bajnar, R Bartoš, P Sedivý
Acta Chirurgiae Orthopaedicae et Traumatologiae Cechoslovaca 2013, 80 (6): 386-90

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: To present the TightRope (Arthrex, Naples, FL) technique and its results in the arthroscopic stabilisation of acute acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) dislocation carried out at our department.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: From July 2009 till December 2010, arthroscopic stabilisation of acute ACJ dislocation was performed in 22 patients. The group consisted of 18 men and four women with an average age of 37.4 years. The Rockwood type III to type V ACJ dislocations (III, 16; IV, 1; V, 5) were indicated for surgery. The average interval between injury and surgery was 5.4 days. In all cases, a second-generation TightRope implant was inserted by the EndoButton technique joining the distal end of the clavicle and the coracoid process. The results were evaluated using the UCLA Shoulder Scale at 6 months after surgery.

RESULTS: All 22 patients returned to their pre-operative activities without any restriction of shoulder motion within 5 months of surgery. The average post-operative UCLA score was 31.2 points (range, 28 to 35). Radiographic evidence of the loss of full reduction, with no effect on the clinical outcome, was recorded in four patients (18%) during post-operative rehabilitation. Of these, one had Rockwood type III, two had type IV and one had type V dislocations. One patient suffered post-operative pull-out of the implant from the coracoid; three patients showed skin wound healing by second intention above the lateral clavicle, with one requiring surgical repair under local anaesthesia. There was no neurovascular complication, intra- or postoperative fracture of the coracoid process or lateral clavicle, or deep wound infection.

DISCUSSION: Arthroscopic stabilisation of acute ACJ dislocation is a minimally invasive procedure providing the coracoclavicular ligament complex with dynamic stability. In comparison with open procedures, it is less painful post-operatively, allows the patients to return early to daily activities and has a better cosmetic effect. It eliminates the necessity of removing the osteosynthetic material, as is the case in commonly used techniques such as Bosworth's method, K-wiring, osteorrhaphy or hook plate insertion. The loss of full reduction in four patients, as observed on radiographs during their rehabilitation, was not accompanied by any clinical problems and is in agreement with the findings of other authors. In our group, it occurred in Rockwood grade IV and grade V dislocations. For these, there is a possibility of using two implants in order to increase stability and prevent the loss of full reduction but this involves a higher risk of coracoid fracture, extension of operative time and higher costs. However, a loss of reduction in some patients has also been reported by the authors who have used two implants. Therefore we prefer using a single TightRope implant, particularly in acute grade III ACJ dislocations requiring surgical treatment in patients engaged in repetitive overhead activities related to sports or occupation.

CONCLUSIONS: Arthroscopic stabilisation of acute ACJ dislocations using a single TightRope implant is an elegant minimally invasive method with good results in indicated cases. It proves efficient particularly in Rockwood type III injuries in patients who have to do repetitive overhead activities. Acute type IV and type V ACJ dislocations treated by this technique show a loss of full reduction on radiographs more frequently, although no effect on the clinical outcome is evident.

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