Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical and radiologic results of an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in patients with an isolated ACL tear and patients with an ACL tear and accompanying injuries.
Type of study: A retrospective investigation.
Methods: Seventy-two patients who did not have previous knee surgery or surgery of the contralateral knee were re-examined 5 to 9 years after the primary ACL reconstruction. The clinical assessment was made using the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) evaluation system, and the Lysholm and the Marshall knee scores. Also, radiographic evaluation and isokinetic strength testing were performed. There were 34 patients (25 men and 9 women) with an isolated ACL tear (group A), and 38 patients (23 men and 15 women) with an ACL tear and accompanying injuries (group B). The mean age was 29 years (SD 9; range, 15 to 49 years) in group A, and 34 years (SD 12; range, 15 to 61 years) in group B. Bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft with mini-arthrotomy technique and screw fixation was used in all patients. Postoperative rehabilitation was also similar in both groups. In group B, 10 medial and 12 lateral (partial or subtotal) arthroscopic meniscectomies were performed at the same time as the ACL reconstruction. Also, 18 of the 19 medial collateral ligament ruptures, the 2 lateral collateral ligament ruptures, and the 1 posterior cruciate ligament rupture were treated surgically at this operation.
Results: Subjectively (overall assessment, pain, swelling, and giving way of the knee) and objectively (range of motion, stability, crepitation, isokinetic strength testing, and radiological changes of the knee), the groups did not have any significant differences in the 5- to 9-year results. Also, the final evaluation results using the IKDC and the Lysholm and the Marshall knee scores were similar in both groups. However, there were significantly more subsequent knee surgeries in the injured knee in group B than in group A.
Conclusions: Our results show no large differences between patients with an isolated ACL tear and those with an ACL tear with accompanying injuries 5 to 9 years after an ACL reconstruction with a bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft. Tibiofemoral osteoarthritis was quite rare, and this may be partly attributable to the fact that the ACL reconstructions were successful, so that all the knees were stable at the re-examination. However, the future will show the final outcome for the patients.