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Long-term results of isolated anterolateral bundle reconstructions of the posterior cruciate ligament: a 6- to 12-year follow-up study.

BACKGROUND: Little is known about the parameters that influence the long-term results of isolated arthroscopically assisted reconstructions of the anterolateral bundle of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).

HYPOTHESIS: Chondrosis, time interval from injury to surgery, and graft choice significantly influence the long-term results of single-bundle PCL reconstructions.

STUDY DESIGN: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

METHODS: Between 1995 and 2001, 22 male and 3 female patients with a mean age of 30.8 years (range, 17-52) underwent an anterolateral bundle reconstruction of the PCL for functional instability and pain. Nine were treated with a bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft (BPTB), 15 with a semitendinosus gracilis (STG) autograft, and 1 with an Achilles tendon allograft. Twenty-two patients were clinically and radiographically reviewed at a mean follow-up of 9.1 years (range, 6.5-12.6). Three patients were interviewed by telephone. Thirteen patients had chondrosis at time of surgery. The mean time from injury to surgery was 1.5 years.

RESULTS: The mean final International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), Lysholm, and functional visual analog scale (VAS) scores (65, 75, and 8, respectively) were fair to good and were significantly better than preoperatively (38, 50, and 4, respectively) (P < .001). The final Tegner (5.7) score was significantly lower than the preinjury score (7.2) (P < .001). The mean anteroposterior laxity measured by KT-1000 arthrometer and Telos stress radiographs was significantly increased on the operated side (mean side-to-side difference of 2.1 mm and 4.7 mm, respectively). The functional scores were not significantly different between the BPTB and STG reconstructions. Patients without chondrosis at time of surgery and patients operated within the first year from injury had significantly better functional results at final follow-up (P < .05).

CONCLUSION: Arthroscopically assisted reconstructions of the anterolateral bundle of the PCL in patients with symptomatic isolated grade II to IV PCL-deficient knees lead to significantly improved functional results at long term if there is no cartilage damage at time of surgery. Nonoperative treatment should not be extended more than 1 year from injury. Graft choice did not significantly influence the functional outcome at long term.

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