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Long-term Clinical Outcomes After TightRope Versus Hook Plate Fixation for Acute Acromioclavicular Joint Dislocation.

BACKGROUND: There is limited information regarding the long-term efficacy of techniques for surgical fixation after acromioclavicular (AC) joint dislocation.

PURPOSE: To evaluate the efficacy of hook plate (HP) and TightRope (TR) fixation for acute AC joint dislocations by comparing the long-term clinical and radiological patient outcomes.

STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study, Level of evidence, 3.

METHODS: This study retrospectively analyzed data from 61 patients with acute AC joint dislocation between July 2011 and November 2015. The patients were grouped according to surgical procedure: HP (n = 36) and TR (n = 25). Clinical outcomes at final follow-up were evaluated using the visual analog scale (VAS) for pain; the American Shoulder and Elbow Surgery score; the Korean Shoulder Score; and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) shoulder score. Side-to-side coracoclavicular (CC) distance on radiographs, postoperative complications, and the rate of subacromial erosion in the HP group were also assessed between procedures.

RESULTS: The mean follow-up period was 7.0 ± 1.0 years, and there were no significant differences in pain or outcome scores between the HP and TR groups (all P > .05). Forward flexion was better in the TR group (172.6° ± 5.6°) versus the HP group (166.0° ± 10.8°; P = .002). The percentages of patients with a difference in the side-to-side CC distance of <5 mm were 83.3% and 72.0% in the HP and TR groups, respectively ( P = .288). Complications were found in 2 patients in the HP group and 1 in the TR group ( P ≥ .999). Subacromial erosion was observed in 41.7% of patients after HP fixation, with no difference in VAS pain scores at the final follow-up in patients with versus without subacromial erosion ( P = .719).

CONCLUSION: When comparing HP with TR fixation for the treatment of acute AC joint dislocations, there were no significant differences in functional outcome scores, final CC distance, or complications. Slightly better forward flexion was seen after TR fixation. Subacromial erosion occurred in 40% of patients after HP fixation, but this did not affect long-term VAS pain scores. Both surgical techniques are effective treatment options for AC joint dislocation.

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