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Bone & Joint Open
Vol. 3, Issue 10 | Pages 815 - 825
20 Oct 2022
Athanatos L Kulkarni K Tunnicliffe H Samaras M Singh HP Armstrong AL


There remains a lack of consensus regarding the management of chronic anterior sternoclavicular joint (SCJ) instability. This study aimed to assess whether a standardized treatment algorithm (incorporating physiotherapy and surgery and based on the presence of trauma) could successfully guide management and reduce the number needing surgery.


Patients with chronic anterior SCJ instability managed between April 2007 and April 2019 with a standardized treatment algorithm were divided into non-traumatic (offered physiotherapy) and traumatic (offered surgery) groups and evaluated at discharge. Subsequently, midterm outcomes were assessed via a postal questionnaire with a subjective SCJ stability score, Oxford Shoulder Instability Score (OSIS, adapted for the SCJ), and pain visual analogue scale (VAS), with analysis on an intention-to-treat basis.