We report the clinical outcome and findings at second-look arthroscopy of 216 patients (mean age 25 years (11 to 58)) who underwent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction or augmentation. There were 73 single-bundle ACL augmentations (44 female, 29 male), 82 double-bundle ACL reconstructions (35 female, 47 male), and 61 single-bundle ACL reconstructions (34 female, 27 male). In 94 of the 216 patients, proprioceptive function of the knee was evaluated before and 12 months after surgery using the threshold to detect passive motion test. Second-look arthroscopy showed significantly better synovial coverage of the graft in the augmentation group (good: 60 (82%), fair: 10 (14%), poor: 3 (4%)) than in the other groups (p = 0.039). The mean side-to-side difference measured with a KT-2000 arthrometer was 0.4 mm (-3.3 to 2.9) in the augmentation group, 0.9 mm (-3.2 to 3.5) in the double-bundle group, and 1.3 mm (-2.7 to 3.9) in the single-bundle group: the result differed significantly between the augmentation and single-bundle groups (p = 0 .013). No significant difference in the Lysholm score or pivot-shift test was seen between the three groups (p = 0.09 and 0.65, respectively). In patients with good synovial coverage, three of the four measurements used revealed significant improvement in proprioceptive function (p = 0.177, 0.020, 0.034, and 0.026). We conclude that ACL augmentation is a reasonable treatment option for patients with favourable ACL remnants.
Keywords: Anterior cruciate ligament; Augmentation; Remnant preservation; Second-look arthroscopic evaluation.
©2014 The British Editorial Society of Bone & Joint Surgery.