All-epiphyseal, all-inside anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction technique for skeletally immature patients

Arthrosc Tech. 2012 Nov 22;1(2):e231-9. doi: 10.1016/j.eats.2012.08.005. Print 2012 Dec.


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are an increasingly recognized problem in the juvenile population. Unfortunately, outcomes with conservative treatment are extremely poor. Adult reconstruction techniques are inappropriate to treat skeletally immature patients because of the risk of physeal complications, including limb-length discrepancy and angular deformities. "Physeal-sparing" reconstruction techniques exist, but their ability to restore knee stability is not well understood. We describe an all-epiphyseal ACL reconstruction for use in skeletally immature patients. This is an all-inside technique with the femoral tunnel drilled retrograde and the tibial tunnel drilled retrograde; both tunnels are entirely within the epiphysis. Fixation of the hamstring autograft is achieved with soft-tissue buttons on both the femur and tibia. We present case examples for 2 patients who underwent the all-inside, all-epiphyseal reconstruction and our postoperative rehabilitation protocol. We present a novel surgical technique for an all-inside, all-epiphyseal ACL reconstruction in skeletally immature patients.