Purpose: The primary purpose of our study was to analyse the long-term outcome of patients treated for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears by anatomical single-bundle ACL reconstruction with patellar tendon autograft. The secondary purpose was to identify predictive factors for good outcome and occurrence of osteoarthritis.
Methods: Sixty-three patients (m:f = 54:9; mean age at surgery, 27 ± 7 years) treated by ACL reconstruction were evaluated with a mean follow-up of 16 ± 1 years using IKDC2000, the SF36, Lysholm and Tegner score, Knee Society score, visual analogue scale for pain and satisfaction and KOOS. The femoral tunnel position was evaluated according to Sommer. It was also assessed in percentage of the Blumensaat line and the tibial tunnel position in percentage of the total anterior-posterior plateau length. The extent of osteoarthritis was graded according to the Kellgren-Lawrence score.
Results: The total IKDC2000 was normal in 20 (32 %), nearly normal in 29 (46 %), abnormal in 12 (19 %) and severely abnormal in 3 (5 %) of patients. The mean total SF-36 was 89 ± 13, the Lysholm score 95 ± 12, the Knee Society score 191 ± 16 and the total KOOS 84 ± 19. The Tegner score decreased from pre-injury 7(4-10) to 6 (2-10) at follow-up. The Kellgren-Lawrence score was normal in 17 (27 %), suspected osteoarthritis in 25 (40 %), minimal osteoarthritis in 5 (8 %), moderate osteoarthritis in 9 (14 %) and severe osteoarthritis in 3 patients (5 %). The femoral tunnel was in zone A in 43 patients (68 %), in zone B in 16 (25 %) and in zone C in 4 patients (7 %). The femoral tunnel position in percentage of the Blumensaat line was 49 ± 3 (range, 44-57), and the tibial tunnel position in percentage of the total anterior-posterior plateau length was 32 ± 6 (range, 21-46). Patients with meniscal lesion at the time of ACL tear showed significantly less favourable outcomes than those without.
Conclusions: Patients treated by the proposed ACL reconstruction technique showed on average good to excellent long-term results. A meniscal lesion at the time of ACL tear was highly predictive for less favourable outcome.