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, 26 (6), 733-6

Combined Anterior Cruciate Ligament and Medial Collateral Ligament Injuries in Adolescents


Combined Anterior Cruciate Ligament and Medial Collateral Ligament Injuries in Adolescents

Wudbhav N Sankar et al. J Pediatr Orthop.


Although literature supports bracing of most medial collateral ligament (MCL) injuries followed by arthroscopic repair of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears in adults with combined ACL-MCL injuries, little is published regarding the treatment of these injuries in the pediatric population. The purpose of this study was to present our outcomes after treatment of combined ACL-MCL injuries in a series of adolescents. All 180 patients who underwent ACL reconstruction at our children's hospital from January 1997 to January 2003 were reviewed to identify those patients with concomitant grade II or III MCL injuries. Clinical data were obtained from chart review. All patients were treated with a hinged brace for their MCL injury followed by delayed arthroscopic reconstruction of their ACL using a transphyseal technique with Achilles tendon soft tissue allograft. Patients were contacted by phone to complete Lysholm knee questionnaires and assess return to athletic competition. Data were compared with a control cohort of patients who underwent isolated ACL reconstruction using the same technique. Twelve (6.7%) of 180 patients had combined ACL-MCL injuries. There were 6 boys and 6 girls; the mean age was 15.6 years (range, 14-17 years). Follow-up averaged 5.3 years (range, 2.6-8.2 years), and no patients were lost to follow-up. At last examination, all patients had a stable knee on both Lachman and valgus stress tests; the mean Lysholm knee score was 96 (range, 94-100). All patients were able to return to their preinjury level of athletics. One patient required manipulation for arthrofibrosis. When compared with the control group of 19 isolated ACL reconstructions, there was no significant difference with regards to Lysholm scores or return to athletics. Bracing of grade 2 or 3 MCL injuries followed by ACL reconstruction was an effective means of treating combined ACL-MCL injuries in this small series of adolescent patients.

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