Segond Fractures Are Not a Risk Factor for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Failure

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Abstract

Background:

Segond fractures may be identified when an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear is diagnosed and likely represent an avulsion of the anterolateral ligament. It is currently unclear whether these fractures can be ignored at the time of ACL reconstruction or if they should be addressed surgically.

Purpose:

To compare the incidence of Segond fractures in patients undergoing primary ACL reconstruction compared with those undergoing revision ACL reconstruction in an attempt to determine if the presence of a Segond fracture predisposes to ACL reconstruction failure.

Study Design:

Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods:

A retrospective review of all patients undergoing primary or revision ACL reconstruction between 2007 and 2014 was performed. Demographic data (age, sex, body mass index), injury variables (acuity, mechanism of injury), and radiographic features (concomitant ligamentous injuries, growth plate status) were documented. Each Segond fracture was analyzed for its specific location, size, displacement, and healing using both radiographs and magnetic resonance imaging. Statistical analysis was performed using a P value of <.05.

Results:

A total of 552 patients underwent primary ACL reconstruction, and 47 patients underwent revision ACL reconstruction who met inclusion criteria. The incidence of Segond fractures was 6% in the primary reconstruction group. The fracture fragment averaged 6.6 mm in height and 2.3 mm in width and was displaced a mean of 5.0 mm. The fracture fragment bed was localized at the tibial attachment site of the anterolateral ligament a mean 20.6 mm posterior to the Gerdy tubercle in nearly all patients. After ACL reconstruction, the Segond fracture healed in 90% of patients. The incidence of Segond fractures was 3 times as common in male patients (P = .02); otherwise, its presence was not associated with any other demographic data, injury variables, or radiographic features (P > .05). No patients undergoing revision surgery had a Segond fracture, and no patient with a Segond fracture had graft failure.

Conclusion:

Patients with a Segond fracture are at no higher risk to require revision ACL reconstruction compared with patients without a Segond fracture. This may be attributable to its high union rate. At the time of primary ACL reconstruction, if a Segond fracture is identified, it can be ignored (not repaired or reconstructed), and this approach does not appear to predispose to early ACL graft failure.

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