Double-Bundle Versus Single-Bundle Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Prospective Randomized Study With 10-Year Results

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Abstract

Background:

A long-term follow-up comparing double-bundle and single-bundle techniques for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction has not been reported before.

Hypothesis:

Double-bundle ACL reconstruction may have fewer graft ruptures, lower rates of osteoarthritis (OA), and better stability than single-bundle reconstruction.

Study Design:

Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods:

Ninety patients were randomized for double-bundle ACL reconstruction with bioabsorbable screw fixation (DB group; n = 30), single-bundle ACL reconstruction with bioabsorbable screw fixation (SBB group; n = 30), and single-bundle ACL reconstruction with metallic screw fixation (SBM group; n = 30). Evaluation methods consisted of a clinical examination, KT-1000 arthrometer measurements, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) and Lysholm knee scores, and a radiographic examination of both the operated and contralateral knees.

Results:

Eighty-one patients (90%) were available at the 10-year follow-up. Eleven patients (1 in the DB group, 7 in the SBB group, and 3 in the SBM group) had a graft failure during the follow-up and went on to undergo revision ACL surgery (P = .043). In the remaining 70 patients at 10 years, no significant group differences were found in the pivot-shift test findings, KT-1000 arthrometer measurements, or knee scores. The most OA findings were found in the medial compartment of the knee, with 38% of the patients in the operated knee and 28% of the patients in the contralateral nonoperated knee. However, no significant group difference was found. The most severe OA changes were in the patients who had the longest delay from the primary injury to ACL reconstruction (P = .047) and in the patients who underwent partial meniscal resection at the time of ACL reconstruction (P = .024).

Conclusion:

Double-bundle ACL reconstruction resulted in significantly fewer graft failures than single-bundle ACL reconstruction during the follow-up. Knee stability and OA rates were similar at 10 years. The most severe OA changes were found in the patients who had the longest delay from the primary injury to ACL reconstruction and in the patients who underwent partial meniscal resection at the time of ACL reconstruction.

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