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Arthroscopy. 1992;8(2):229-33.

Anterior cruciate ligament tears in skeletally immature patients: meniscal pathology at presentation and after attempted conservative treatment.

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Division of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, Madison 53792.


We evaluated 12 skeletally immature patients with acute, intrasubstance tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and open physes for meniscal pathology. Arthrograms were completed in 10 of 12 patients, and subsequent arthroscopy confirmed 8 meniscal tears (4 medial, 4 lateral) in 6 patients. Four patients with repairable menisci underwent arthroscopic meniscal repair and stabilization. Eight patients received quadriceps and hamstrings rehabilitation and returned to sports with a brace. After return to sports, all braced patients developed instability with multiple episodes of "giving way." Average time from initial injury to first episode of instability was 7 months. Seven patients sustained further meniscal damage an average of 15 months (range 7-27 months) after initial injury. We conclude that meniscal pathology is commonly associated with ACL tears in skeletally immature patients and we recommend arthrography or arthroscopy to evaluate patients with suspected ACL tears. Brace management did not prevent instability or new meniscal tears.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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