Arthroscopic-assisted anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with the central third patellar tendon. A 5-8-year follow-up

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 1997;5(3):138-44. doi: 10.1007/s001670050041.


We reviewed 89 arthroscopically assisted patellar tendon anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions for chronic isolated injuries with an average follow-up of 7 years (range 5.4 to 8.6 years). Pain was present in 7 knees (8%). Giving-way symptoms were reported by 7 patients (8%). A KT-2000 side-to-side difference over 5 mm at 30 lbs was recorded in 12 cases (16%). The pivot shift was glide in 17 cases (19%) and clunk in 10 (11%). A 3 degrees-5 degrees extension loss compared with the normal side was present in 20 knees (22%) and 6 degrees-10 degrees in 4 knees (4%). The intra-articular exit of the femoral tunnel was misplaced in the anterior 50% of the condyles along the roof of the notch in 10% of the knees. This positioning significantly (P = 0.003) increased the frequency of graft failure (62.5%) compared with the cases with a more posterior placement (graft failure 12%). An anterior position of the intra-articular exit of the tibial tunnel (in the anterior 15% of the sagittal width of the tibia) significantly (P = 0.01) increased the frequency of extension loss > 5 degrees. Medial meniscectomy was associated with a 35% incidence of narrowing of the medial joint space, which was significantly higher compared with knees with normal menisci (9%; P = 0.04) or with medial meniscal repair (7%; P = 0.05). In conclusion this study showed satisfactory anterior stability (KT-2000 side-to-side difference up to 5 mm and pivot absent or glide) in 83% of the knees. This percentage increases to 88% in the knees with a correct posterior and proximal femoral tunnel placement. Accuracy in tunnel positioning is essential for the success of ACL surgery. Meniscal repair was effective in decreasing joint space narrowing and should be attempted when possible.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Arthroscopy / methods
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Endoscopy / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Joint Instability / etiology
  • Knee Injuries / etiology
  • Knee Injuries / surgery*
  • Male
  • Patella
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Reoperation
  • Tendons / transplantation*
  • Treatment Outcome