Purpose: The research aim was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of early secondary acromioclavicular (AC) joint disease in patients undergoing acute arthroscopic AC joint reduction and fixation and early complications of acute surgical treatment in patients with high-grade AC joint dislocation. Methods: Overall, 102 patients diagnosed with Rockwood type V AC joint dislocation and undergoing arthroscopic coracoclavicular fixation were included. Early clinical and radiological complications were evaluated, as well as risk factors of secondary AC joint pathology. Results: Twenty-nine patients (28%) presented with a secondary AC joint pathology, with 24 and 5 cases of osteolysis and osteoarthritis, respectively. The main complication was a loss of reduction of ≥ 1 mm (78%). Patients aged > 55 years were more likely to develop a secondary AC joint disease (odds ratios (OR) = 10.1, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.42 − 72.55, p = 0.021). Patients with osteolysis (OR = 3.2, 95% CI 1.16 − 9.27, p = 0.025) or loss of reduction of > 5 mm (OR = 7.4, 95% CI 2.31 − 24.08, p = 0.001) were more likely to develop AC joint pain. Patients with an initial over-reduction were less likely to develop a subluxated AC joint (OR = 0.033, 95% CI 0.0021–0.134, p = 0.001) Conclusion: Age > 55 years and female sex were identified as risk factors of early-onset secondary AC joint disease. Osteolysis and a loss of reduction of > 5 mm were risk factors of AC joint pain but not of revision surgery. The main early complication was a loss of reduction of ≥ 1 mm. An initial over-reduction of the distal clavicle was a protective factor to avoid AC joint subluxation. Level of evidence: 2.
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