Arthroscopic distal clavicle resection from a bursal approach

William N. Levine, O. Alton Barron, Ken Yamaguchi, Roger G. Pollock, Evan L. Flatow, Louis U. Bigliani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


We retrospectively reviewed 117 consecutive patients who underwent arthroscopic acromioclavicular joint (ACJ) arthroplasties. Only patients who underwent ACJ arthroplasties from a bursal approach in conjunction with subacromial decompression were included. Patients with isolated ACJ arthrosis treated with resection of the distal clavicle from a superior approach, isolated impingement with only undersurface distal clavicle debridement, prior surgery, or other shoulder pathology were excluded. Twenty-four patients met these rigid criteria for inclusion in the study. After an arthroscopic subacromial decompression, the distal clavicle was visualized and resected through a standard bursal approach. In addition, an anterosuperior portal was used in 50% of the patients to confirm adequate clavicle resection. Postoperative follow-up averaged 32.5 months (range, 24 to 70 months). Preoperative and postoperative pain were rated subjectively on a 5-point scale (1, incapacitating pain; 5, no pain). Operative reports and postoperative radiographs were reviewed to determine technical factors that may have influenced outcome. Seventeen patients had excellent results (71%), 4 good (16.5%), and there were 3 failures (12.5%). Average preoperative pain rating was 1.8 and was improved to 4.3 postoperatively. The average amount of clavicle resection was only 5.4 mm. Given smooth, even, and complete bone removal, the amount of bone resected did not correlate with outcome. Arthroscopic distal clavicle resection performed in conjunction with subacromial decompression gave excellent results, comparable to isolated ACJ procedures. In this series, additional use of an anterosuperior portal for more direct shaver placement and complete ACJ viewing allowed consistent bone resection and excellent results in a high percentage of patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-56
Number of pages5
JournalArthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998


  • Approach
  • Bursal
  • Clavicle
  • Distal
  • Excision


Dive into the research topics of 'Arthroscopic distal clavicle resection from a bursal approach'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this