INTRODUCTION : The purpose of this study was to perform a meta-analysis comparing open and arthroscopic surgical techniques for distal clavicle resection.
METHODS : A systematic review of Medline, Embase, Scopus, and Google Scholar identified relevant publications in the English and German literature between 1997 and 2017. All included studies were levels I–IV, describing both treatments, with a minimum of 12 month follow-up, had at least one validated outcome score and documented patient recruitment, study design, demographic details, and surgical technique. Studies were excluded if they were only abstracts or conference proceedings, involved revision procedures, or the loss to follow-up exceeded 20%. Publication bias and risk of bias were assessed using the Cochrane Collaboration tools, and heterogeneity was assessed using the I2 statistic. RESULTS : Four studies (n = 319 patients) met the criteria for inclusion. The pooled estimate for clinical outcomes (Constant, ASES) demonstrated no significant differences (SMD 0.323, I2 = 0%, p = 0.065) between open and arthroscopic resection, although the analysis favored open resection. The pooled estimate for clinical outcomes (SST) also demonstrated no significant differences (SMD 0.744, I2 = 49.82%, p = 0.144) between open and arthroscopic resection, but the analysis again favored open resection. The pooled estimate for VAS assessment of pain demonstrated no differences (SMD 0.217, I2 = 58.96%; p = 0.404) between open and arthroscopic resection. CONCLUSION : The results of this study suggest that similar functional and clinical outcomes can be achieved with either open or arthroscopic distal clavicle resection. The observed trend that open resection may have a more favorable outcome warrants further investigation. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE : Level 3; systematic review and meta-analysis.