Revision anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Orthop Clin North Am. 2003 Jan;34(1):79-98. doi: 10.1016/s0030-5898(02)00066-4.


Revision ACL surgery is indicated in patients who present with pathologic anterior laxity on clinical examination that reproduces their symptoms of instability during activities of daily living or athletic activities. The goals of the revision ACL surgery are to stabilize the knee, prevent further injury to the articular cartilage and menisci, and maximize the patient's function. Successful revision ACL surgery requires a thorough preoperative evaluation, including a detailed history, physical examination, and radiographic evaluation. Preoperative planning begins with a determination of the mechanisms of failure for the initial ACL reconstruction. Often a primary, as well as secondary cause, for failure can be identified. The determination of the cause of failure is the first step in a carefully-constructed treatment plan, which includes consideration of skin incisions to be used, method of graft removal, hardware removal, the need for a staged procedure or concomitant surgery, graft material selection, tunnel placement, graft fixation, and postoperative rehabilitation protocol. Despite the most meticulous planning, unanticipated findings may be encountered in the operating room, and the preoperative plan should have enough flexibility to accommodate these developments. Finally, it is crucial to counsel the patient preoperatively to limit his or her expectations regarding their surgical outcome. Given the complexity of revision ACL reconstruction, patient expectations must be adjusted to realistically match the potential for success. With proper planning, attention to detail, and appropriate patient expectations, revision ACL surgery can result in a beneficial and satisfying patient outcome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods
  • Radiography
  • Reoperation / methods
  • Reoperation / rehabilitation
  • Tendons / transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Transplantation, Homologous