Concurrent Meniscal and Chondral Injuries in Pediatric and Adolescent Patients Undergoing ACL Reconstruction

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Abstract

Background/Purpose:

The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence of and risk factors for concurrent meniscal and articular cartilage injury in children and adolescents undergoing anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

Methods:

Medical records of pediatric patients (below 18 y old) undergoing ACL surgery during the 2013 to 2014 academic year at a tertiary care children’s hospital were reviewed for clinical or radiographic documentation of meniscal or chondral injury. Prevalence of concurrent injury was regressed on the basis of age, sex, body mass index (BMI), and time between injury and surgery. Skeletally immature patients were analyzed as a separate subgroup.

Results:

Medical records of 208 patients with a mean age of 15±2 years were reviewed. Overall, 117 patients (56%) were found to have had at least 1 concurrent injury; 66 patients (32%) had a medial meniscus tear, 72 patients (35%) had a lateral meniscus tear, and 10 patients (5%) had a chondral lesion. Both BMI and time duration between injury and ACL reconstruction surgery were significant predictors for meniscal or chondral injury, with increase in injury prevalence of approximately 10% per point BMI and 6% per month delay to surgery.

Conclusions:

More than half of the children and the adolescents treated for ACL tear have concurrent meniscal or chondral injury. Risk factors for concurrent injury are BMI and time duration between injury and surgery. The prevalence of concurrent injury and associated risk factors should be considered when counseling a pediatric patient and family regarding operative versus nonoperative management in the setting of an ACL tear.

Level of Evidence:

Level IV—case series.

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