Efficacy of Two Techniques in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

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The purpose of this study is to compare failure rate and functional outcome in young, active patients (< 25 years) with two-incision (rear-entry) versus transtibial (all-endoscopic) anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions.

Utilizing a computerized relational database (Access 2007, Microsoft Inc., Redmond, WA), 480 patients were identified that underwent ACL reconstruction, using a bone-patellar-tendon-bone autograft, by a single surgeon between January 2000 and December 2010 via a transtibial or two-incision technique. Totally, 377 (78.6%) of these patients were less than 25 years of age. Data for each patient were collected at their initial clinic visit, at the time of surgery, and at each follow-up clinic visit and entered into the computerized relational database. Overall, 274 patients (72.7%) underwent ACL reconstruction with a transtibial technique, and 103 patients (27.3%) underwent reconstruction with a two-incision technique. Failures were identified as a 2+ Lachman, 1+ or greater pivot shift, or a KT-1000 arthrometer difference of five or more.

In patients < 25 years of age, there were 10 failures (9.7%) out of 103 patients undergoing a two-incision reconstruction and 28 failures (10.2%) out of 274 patients undergoing a transtibial reconstruction (p = 1.000). There was no statistical significance between the failure rate in the two different groups in regards to gender, meniscal tear, activity level, or any other factor that was analyzed.

Our study showed no statistical difference between the two-incision technique and the transtibial technique for ACL reconstruction using bone-patellar-tendon-bone autograft with an overall 10.1% failure rate in young, active patients (< 25 years of age). The level of evidence is level IV.

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