Patient-Reported Outcomes After Multiligament Knee Injury: MCL Repair Versus Reconstruction

Orthop J Sports Med. 2017 Mar 15;5(3):2325967117694818. doi: 10.1177/2325967117694818. eCollection 2017 Mar.


Background: Management of the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in the setting of a multiligamentous knee injury (MLKI) represents an area of great controversy.

Purpose: Our study was designed to compare long-term patient-reported outcomes (PROs) after MCL repair versus reconstruction in the setting of a multiligamentous injury of the knee.

Study design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.

Methods: At a single institution, 68 patients were identified over a 10-year period as having MCL intervention in the setting of MLKI. Of these patients, 34 (50%) were successfully contacted via telephone to collect Lysholm and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) scores. A retrospective chart review of these subjects was also conducted to identify patient and surgical factors affecting PROs.

Results: At a mean 6-year follow-up (range, 2-11 years), the mean Lysholm score was 77.4 ± 23.1 and mean IKDC score was 72.6 ± 23.6. Univariate analyses identified time to surgery (P = .005) and MCL reconstruction (P = .001) as risk factors for Lysholm score ≤75. Univariate analyses identified patient age (P = .049), time to surgery (P = .018), and MCL reconstruction (P = .004) as risk factors for IKDC score ≤75. On subsequent multivariate analysis, MCL reconstruction was found to be a predictor of Lysholm or IKDC score of ≤75.

Conclusion: Patients undergoing MCL repair in the setting of MLKI generally had higher PROs than those undergoing reconstructions at a mean 6 years of follow-up. Further work is needed to elucidate patient and surgical factors that may influence subjective outcomes after multiligament knee injuries.

Keywords: knee; medial collateral ligament; multiligament; outcomes; reconstruction; repair.