Anatomic all-epiphyseal ACL reconstruction with “inside-out” femoral tunnel placement in immature patients yields high return to sport rates and functional outcome scores a minimum of 24 months after reconstruction

Mitchell Stephen Fourman, Sherif Galal Hassan, James W. Roach, Jan S. Grudziak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: To understand if anatomic physeal-sparing ACL reconstruction in the immature host preserves range of motion, permits a return to sports, and avoids limb length discrepancy and accelerated intra-articular degeneration with a cross-sectional radiographic, physical examination and patient-reported outcomes analysis. Methods: A cross-sectional recall study included 38 patients aged 7–15 who underwent all-epiphyseal ACL reconstruction with hamstring allograft performed by a single surgeon at a large academic medical center. All-epiphyseal reconstructions were performed using a modified Anderson physeal-sparing technique, with the femoral tunnel placed using an “inside-out” technique. Assessments consisted of a physical exam, long leg cassette radiographs, KT-1000 measurements, subjective patient metrics, and magnetic resonance imaging. Results: Thirty-eight (56.7%) of 66 eligible patients returned for in-person clinical and radiographic exams. Patients were 11.4 ± 1.8 years at the time of surgery. Five patients were females (13.2%). Mean follow-up was 5.5 ± 2.4 years. ACL re-injuries occurred in four patients (10.5%), all of whom underwent revision reconstructions. Thirty-three of the remaining 34 (97.1%) patients returned to sports following their reconstruction, and 24 (70.6%) returned to their baseline level of competition. Mean limb length discrepancy (LLD) was 0.2 ± 1.4 cm. Nine patients had an LLD of > 1 cm (26.5%), which occurred at an equivalent age as those with < 1 cm LLD (10.8 ± 2.0 vs. 11.7 ± 1.7, n.s.). Pre-operative Marx scores (13.1 ± 3.5) were not significantly different from post-operative values (12.3 ± 5.1, n.s.). Patients who required ACL revisions had significantly lower Marx scores than those with intact primary grafts (8.3 ± 7.1 vs. 13.4 ± 4.5, p = 0.047). Cohort mean International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score was 89.7 ± 12.7. Conclusion: Anatomic all-epiphyseal anatomic ACL reconstruction appears to be useful in patients with significant projected remaining growth, with good return-to-sport outcomes and minimal risk of clinically significant physeal complications. However, given the limited patient recall possible in the present study, further large sample size, high-quality works are necessary to validate our findings. Level of evidence: Level IV.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4251-4260
Number of pages10
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Volume29
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ACL injury
  • ACL rerupture
  • Anatomic ACL reconstruction
  • Cartilage degeneration
  • Ligamentous stability
  • Limb length discrepancy
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Pediatric ACL injuries
  • Physeal-sparing
  • Return to sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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