The treatment of the sports related dislocation of the acromioclavicular joint remains controversial. This study was carried out to determine whether or not a combined surgical procedure consisting of repair and polydioxanone (PDS)-cord augmentation of the coracoclavicular ligaments, fixation of the acromioclavicular joint with a single Kirschner wire as well as the repair of the acromioclavicular ligament permitted return to athletic activity. Athletes were examined with regard to their range of motion, pain and their ability to return to the performance level achieved before the injury. During the period 1986-1989, 21 athletes were treated. Follow-up averaged 22 months. Return of athletes to previous performance level was related to their original degree of activity. Two recreational once-a-week athletes did not return to this level, 19 patients, including five competitive athletes, continued their previous activities. There was no correlation between coracoclavicular ossification or post-traumatic arthritis and a good or excellent result. We recommend the operative treatment of acromioclavicular separations in athletes.
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