Combined anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament, and posterolateral corner reconstruction with autogenous hamstring grafts in chronic instabilities

Michael J Strobel, Martin S Schulz, Wolf J Petersen, H Jürgen Eichhorn
Arthroscopy 2006, 22 (2): 182-92

PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome after 1-stage reconstructions of the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (ACL, PCL) with reconstruction of the posterolateral corner (PLC) structures using autogenous hamstring grafts in chronic knee injuries.

TYPE OF STUDY: Prospective case series.

METHODS: We reviewed 17 patients (13 men and 4 women) with chronic multiligamentous injuries after a minimum follow-up of 2 years (range, 24 to 66.3 months). Arthroscopically assisted combined ACL/PCL reconstructions with autogenous semitendinosus-gracilis tendon grafts were performed using the single-incision endoscopic ACL technique and the single femoral tunnel, single-bundle transtibial tunnel PCL technique. The PLC was reconstructed with a free autogenous semitendinous tendon graft. The primary outcome measures were the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score and stress radiography. As secondary outcome measure, all patients were evaluated with a subjective questionnaire, physical examination, radiologic assessment, and KT-1000 arthrometer testing.

RESULTS: The mean time from injury to the reconstructive procedure was 70.2 +/- 96.7 months (range, 5.1 to 312.6 months). At final IKDC evaluation, 4 patients (29.4%) were graded level B (nearly normal), 10 patients (58.8%) level C (abnormal), and 2 patients (11.8%) level D (grossly abnormal). The mean postoperative subjective IKDC score was 71.8 +/- 19.3 points. Mean posterior tibial displacement as measured through stress radiography at 90 degrees of knee flexion was reduced from -15.06 +/- 4.68 mm preoperatively to -7.12 +/- 3.37 mm postoperatively (P < .001). Mean anterior tibial displacement was 0.94 +/- 2.75 mm preoperatively compared with -1.59 +/- 3.50 mm postoperatively (P < .01). Three patients had a fixed posterior tibial subluxation (posterior tibial displacement < or = -3 mm on anterior stress radiographs) postoperatively. Severe subjective instability was reduced significantly by the operative procedure (P < .001). The mean postoperative total anterior-posterior side-to-side difference with the KT-1000 arthrometer testing was 2.00 +/- 2.23 mm (range, -4 to 7 mm).

CONCLUSIONS: Combined chronic ACL/PCL/PLC instabilities can be successfully treated with 1-stage arthroscopic cruciate ligament reconstruction combined with PLC reconstruction using autogenous hamstring grafts. Although current reconstruction techniques are not able to restore normal tibiofemoral kinematics, most patients recover a functionally stable knee and have considerably improved knee function compared with their preoperative status, based on subjective parameters and objective criteria.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, case series, no historical or control group.

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