Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Sports Med Arthrosc Rehabil Ther Technol. 2011 Apr 8;3(1):7. doi: 10.1186/1758-2555-3-7.

Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using quadriceps tendon autograft for adolescents with open physes- a technical note.

Author information

  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Kantonsspital Bruderholz, Bruderholz, CH-4101, Switzerland. michael.hirschmann@unibas.ch.



One major concern in the treatment of ACL lesions in children and adolescents with open physes is the risk of iatrogenic damage to the physes and a possibly resulting growth disturbance.


The primary purpose of this article is to describe our technique of a transphyseal ACL reconstruction using quadriceps tendon-bone autograft in children and adolescents with open growth plates. The secondary aim is to report our early results in terms of postoperative growth disturbances which are considered to be a major concern in this challenging group of patients. It was our hypothesis that with our proposed technique no significant growth disturbances would occur.


From January 1997 to December 2007 49 consecutive children and adolescents with open growth plates were treated for a torn ACL using the aforementioned surgical technique. The patients (28 males and 21 females) with a median age at surgery of 13 (range 8-15) years were retrospectively evaluated. Outcome measures were follow-up radiographs (weight-bearing long leg radiographs of the injured and uninjured knee, anteroposterior and lateral views, a tangential view of the patella and a tunnel view of the injured knee) and follow-up notes (6 weeks, 3, 6, 12 months and until closing of physes) for occurrence of any tibial and/or femoral growth changes.


All of the 49 patients had a sufficient clinical and radiological follow-up (minimum 5 years, rate 100%). 48 cases did not show any clinical and radiological growth disturbance. One case of growth disturbance in a 10.5 years old girl was observed. She developed a progressive valgus-flexion deformity which was attributed to a malplacement of the autograft bone block within the femoral posterolateral epiphyseal plate leading to an early localized growth stop. None of the patients were reoperated due to ACL graft failure. Five of the patients underwent revision ACL surgery due to another adequate sports trauma after the growth-stop. The tibial fixation screw had to be removed under local anaesthesia in 10 patients.


The described ACL reconstruction technique represents a promising alternative to previously described procedures in the treatment of children and adolescents with open growth plates. Using quadriceps tendon future graft availability is not compromised, as the most frequently used autograft-source, ipsilateral hamstring tendons, remains untouched.

Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk