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Arthroscopy. 2003 Feb;19(2):194-202.

A review of ski injuries resulting in combined injury to the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligaments.

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  • 1Sports Medicine Clinic, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Alpine skiing is a global winter recreational sport with 15 million participants in the United States alone, and an overall injury rate of 2.5 per 1,000 ski person-days. Isolated injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or the medial collateral ligament (MCL) is common among ski injuries; however, combined injury to these structures is rare. Controversy in the management of ACL instability following alpine ski injury is diminishing with improvements in the techniques of intra-articular cruciate reconstruction. However, the management of the combined ACL-MCL injury remains something of an enigma. Evidence exists to support both surgical and nonsurgical management strategies for the medial structures, but little consensus exists for the timing of the repair. This paper highlights the mechanisms of ski injuries that can result in combined injury to the ACL and MCL. The anatomy and biomechanics of the medial complex as it relates both to stability and operative repair are reviewed, and literature on the techniques and indications used for MCL repair in the setting of a combined injury is presented. On the basis of this review, we believe that an injury to the MCL does not need to be repaired if the ACL is reconstructed after a combined injury.

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