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Chronic instability of the acromioclavicular joint is relatively common and normally occurs following a fall onto the point of the shoulder. Reconstruction of the joint (Weaver-Dunn procedure) is often required in service personnel, and numerous methods of fixation have been used, including vicryl tape, PDS loops and the use of a hook plate. Many of these operative methods require a second operation to remove the plates and/or screws, and are associated with a failure rate of up to 30%.

The ‘Surgilig’ was designed as a method of revision for failed Weaver-Dunn procedures. However this study evaluates its use in the primary operation.

We prospectively followed up the Modified Weaver Dunn procedures using surgilig. The post-operative x-rays were reviewed at six weeks, 3 months and then 6 months when the patients were discharged to assess the radiological success of the procedure.

We have performed this procedure in 11 patients. Of the eight patients that have reached the six month postoperative time so far, at which they would be discharged from clinic follow-up, none have had radiological failure of the fixation. One patient even had weight-bearing x-rays taken at 6 weeks, with no detrimental effect. Even though a small study, the initial results for primary fixation of acromioclavicular joint disruption with surgilig are extremely encouraging. The study suggests that surgilig should continue to be used in its current role. As patient numbers increase, a follow-up study should be conducted to evaluate these preliminary findings.

Correspondence should be addressed to Major M Butler RAMC, 44 Theynes Croft, Long Ashton, Bristol, BS41 9NA, England.