"Anatomic" anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a systematic review of surgical techniques and reporting of surgical data

Arthroscopy. 2010 Sep;26(9 Suppl):S2-12. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2010.03.005.


Purpose: The aim of this systematic review was to evaluate studies published on anatomic double-bundle anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

Methods: A systematic electronic search was performed by use of the Medline and Embase databases. Studies that were published from January 1995 to April 2009 were included. The selection criteria were studies that reported on a surgical technique for "anatomic double-bundle ACL reconstruction" on skeletally mature living human subjects and were written in English. Data collected and analyzed included a variety of surgical data. Tables were created to provide an overview of surgical techniques for anatomic ACL reconstruction.

Results: Seventy-four studies were included in this review. Some surgical factors were adequately reported in the majority of the articles: visualizing the native ACL insertion sites, placing the tunnels in the footprint, graft type, and fixation method. However; ACL insertion site measurement, femoral intercondylar notch measurement, individualization of surgery, and intraoperative/postoperative imaging were poorly reported. The most variety was seen in knee flexion angle during femoral tunnel drilling and tensioning pattern of the grafts.

Conclusions: For most surgical data, there was a gross under-reporting of specific operative technique data. We believe that the details of an "anatomic" operative technique are crucial for the valid interpretations of the outcomes. Thus we encourage authors to report their surgical technique in a specific and standardized fashion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / diagnostic imaging
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Arthroscopy / statistics & numerical data
  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Humans
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Radiography
  • Tendons / transplantation
  • Transplantation, Autologous / statistics & numerical data
  • Transplantation, Homologous / statistics & numerical data
  • Writing / standards