Published online Jul 18, 2017. doi: 10.5312/wjo.v8.i7.536
Peer-review started: November 23, 2016
First decision: February 15, 2017
Revised: April 17, 2017
Accepted: May 3, 2017
Article in press: May 5, 2017
Published online: July 18, 2017
Core tip: Arthroscopic treatment is an option in patients with symptoms from the ageing sternoclavicular joint (SCJ). However, knowledge of age-related changes is essential for planning of such arthroscopic procedures. In 78 human cadaveric SCJs with a mean age of 79 years (range: 59-96 years) we found that degenerative changes of the discs were common, in particular inferior detachment, and only 28% were fully attached. Severe cartilage degeneration was more common on the clavicular than the sternal side. When there was inferior detachment of the disc, we observed increased supero-medial gliding of the clavicle. We conclude that a torn disc or degenerated articular cartilage might be treated by arthroscopic resection, debridement and clavicle end resection. Reattachment of a degenerated disc is not possible.