Bosworth and modified Phemister techniques revisited. A comparison of intraarticular vs extraarticular fixation methods in the treatment of acute Rockwood type III acromioclavicular dislocations



The aim of this study was to compare the long-term clinical and radiological results of Acromioclavicular (AC) fixation with K-wires (the modified Phemister procedure) and Coracoclavicular (CC) fixation with the Bosworth screw in the surgical treatment of Type 3 AC joint dislocations. Thirty-two patients with complete set of medical records and who received surgical treatment between September 2005 and January 2009 due to acute Rockwood Type 3 AC joint dislocation and properly attended their follow-ups were retrospectively evaluated. Sixteen patients (13 males, 3 females; mean age: 38, range: 24–52 years) were treated with CC fixation with Bosworth screw (Group 1), and the other 16 (12 males, 4 females; mean age: 53.3, range: 38–64 years) with AC fixation using K-wires (Group 2). The mean follow-up time was 96 months for Group 1 and 93 months for Group 2 patients (p > 0.05). The mean Constant–Murley score at the final follow-up was 84.7 in Group 1 and 87.3 in Group 2 (p = 0.069). Radiological evaluation of the patients revealed AC arthrosis in 2 and 3 patients in Group 1 and 2, respectively. In Group 2, one patient had a recurrent dislocation, three patients had AC arthrosis and two patients had ossification in the CC ligament (Fig. 2). There was no superficial or deep wound infection in Group 1, while two patients from Group 2 had a superficial wound infection. Our results suggest that both techniques are reliable and provide adequate reduction and similar outcomes in terms of functionality and pain levels, following the reduction of Type 3 AC joint dislocations. With lower rates of wound site infection in the early and AC arthrosis in the late postoperative period, CC fixation method with the Bosworth screw may be a better surgical option than AC fixation method with K-wires. Level III, Therapeutic study.
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  • Acromioclavicular separation
  • Type 3 separation
  • Bosworth screw
  • Phemister procedure

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