JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Re-tear and Revision Reconstruction in the Skeletally Immature Athlete

Steven Garcia, Nirav K Pandya
Current Reviews in Musculoskeletal Medicine 2020, 13 (3): 369-378
32388725

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: With an increase in high-demand sporting activity, the rate of pediatric and adolescent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is increasing. Yet, the failure rates after reconstruction are much higher than the adult population. The purpose of this paper is to understand failure rates, reasons for graft failure, and strategies for successful revision surgery.

RECENT FINDINGS: A complete understanding of the failure etiology is essential for the clinician treating this population prior to revision. This begins with an assessment of post-operative patient compliance and sporting activity. Surgical technique must then be scrutinized for non-anatomic tunnel placement and poor graft size/type. Concurrent bony deformity must also be addressed including lower extremity valgus alignment and tibial slope abnormalities. Meniscus and chondral injury must be aggressively treated. Furthermore, imaging must be examined to look for missed posterolateral corner injury. Lateral extra-articular tenodesis (in the setting of ligamentous laxity or rotational instability) may be also indicated as well. The surgeon can then choose a graft type and surgical technique that optimizes outcome and respects skeletal growth. Prior to surgical intervention, the clinician must also counsel patients in regard to the guarded prognosis and outcomes in this setting. Prolonged rehabilitation protocols/return-to-play timing as well as sporting activity modification in the post-operative period after revision are critical. There is limited literature on revision ACL reconstruction in the skeletally immature athlete. An understanding of all the risk factors for failure is essential in order to achieve treatment success.

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