Arthros. assisted ACJ reconstr. safely avoids the surrounding nerves but close proximity to the suprascapular artery
The purpose of this study was to examine the safety of an arthroscopic technique for acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) reconstruction by investigating its proximity to important neurovascular structures.
Six shoulders from 4 cadaveric specimens were used for ACJ reconstruction in this study. The procedure consists of performing an arthroscopic acromioclavicular (AC) reduction with a double button construct, followed by coracoclavicular ligament reconstruction without drilling clavicular tunnels. Shoulders were subsequently dissected in order to identify and measure distances to adjacent neurovascular structures.
The suprascapular artery and nerve were the closest neurovascular structures to implanted materials. The mean distances were 8.2 (standard deviation [SD] = 3.6) mm to the suprascapular nerve and 5.6 (SD = 4.2) mm to the suprascapular artery. The mean distance of the suprascapular nerve from implants was found to be greater than 5 mm (P = .040), while the distance to the suprascapular artery was not (P > .5). Neither difference was statistically significant (P = .80 for artery; P = .08 for nerve).
Conclusions: Mini-open, arthroscopically assisted ACJ reconstruction safely avoids the surrounding nerves, with no observed damage to any neurovascular structures including the suprascapular nerve and artery, and may be a viable alternative to open techniques. However, surgeons must remain cognizant of possible close proximity to the suprascapular artery.
Clinical Relevance: This study represents an evaluation of the safety and feasibility of a minimally invasive ACJ reconstruction as it relates to the proximity of neurovascular structures.
Philippe Landreau, MD