The relationship between tunnel placement and clinical results after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Am J Sports Med. May-Jun 1996;24(3):335-41. doi: 10.1177/036354659602400315.

Abstract

To correlate clinical results after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with tunnel placement measured radiographically, we prospectively studied 128 patients who had arthroscopically assisted bone-patellar tendon-bone reconstructions. Patients with bilateral anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions, other significant knee ligament injuries, or those undergoing chondroplasty or meniscal repairs were excluded, leaving 42 patients. The relationship between radiographic tunnel position and clinical results was determined using the Lysholm score, KT-1000 arthrometer testing, the Tegner activity level, and the pivot shift and Lachman tests. Clinical results correlated positively with posterior femoral tunnel placement on lateral radiographs and negatively with excessive anterior tibial tunnel placement. Specifically, when femoral tunnels were placed at least 60% posterior along Blumensaat's line and tibial tunnels were at least 20% posterior along the tibial plateau, 69% of patients had good or excellent Lysholm scores and 79% had KT-1000 arthrometer maximum manual side-to-side differences of 3 mm or less. When the above criteria were not met, 50% of patients had good or excellent Lysholm scores and 22% had KT-1000 arthrometer maximum manual side-to-side differences of 3 mm or less. This close correlation indicates that satisfactory radiographic tunnel position influences outcome after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / physiopathology
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Arthroscopy
  • Endoscopy
  • Female
  • Femur / diagnostic imaging
  • Femur / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / physiopathology
  • Knee Joint / diagnostic imaging
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Patellar Ligament / transplantation
  • Prospective Studies
  • Radiography
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Tibia / diagnostic imaging
  • Tibia / surgery*
  • Treatment Outcome