Injuries of the sternoclavicular (SC) joint are rare and usually caused by high-energy mechanisms, such as collision sports or motor vehicle accidents. Until the mid- 1990s, most symptomatic conditions of the SC joint refractory to conservative management were treated with resection arthroplasty. With increasing awareness that SC joint resection for instability following anterior and posterior SC joint dislocation resulted in poor outcomes, the treatment of disorders of the SC joint became more differentiated.20 Symptomatic instability of the SC joint is best treated with surgical ligament reconstruction, whereas stable conditions with degenerative SC joint disease can be successfully treated with resection arthroplasty.
In the past 20 years, there have been limited studies re- porting outcomes of SC joint resection arthroplasty. Most of these reports include mixed operative indications and varying amounts of medial clavicle resection, ranging from 1 cm up to 4 cm. Recent anatomic and biomechanical studies have suggested that minimizing bone resection in performing SC joint resection arthroplasty may be advantageous for preservation of ligamentous joint stabilizers. Although functional improvement has been reported following SC joint resection for osteoarthritis, the effect on return to sports in active patients remains unknown from published literature. The purpose of this study was therefore to assess functional outcomes and return to sport following resection arthroplasty for osteoarthritis of the SC joint, with a maximum resection of 10 mm. Significant improvements in functional outcome scores and high rates of return to sport were hypothesized.