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Arthroscopy. 2006 Dec;22(12):1325-30.

Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in the skeletally immature patient.

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  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery and The Sports Medicine Center, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota, USA.



Our purpose was to evaluate the results of transphyseal anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with medial hamstring autograft in skeletally immature patients.


We reviewed the records of all skeletally immature patients who underwent transphyseal ACL reconstruction with medial hamstring autograft between 1988 and 2002 at our institution. Inclusion criteria were age less than 15 years for male patients, age less than 14 years for female patients, and radiographic evidence of wide open physes. We identified 16 patients (11 male and 5 female). All underwent preoperative and postoperative clinical evaluation (physical examination and modified Lysholm and International Knee Documentation Committee scores), and knee radiographs. Each patient was followed up until skeletal maturity was confirmed, with a mean clinical follow-up of 41.1 months (range, 24 to 112 months).


The mean time from ACL injury to reconstruction was 5.6 months (range, 0.7 to 26.9 months). During the preoperative time period, 4 patients (25%) developed meniscal tears that were not visualized on the index magnetic resonance imaging scans. At last follow-up, the mean leg length discrepancy measured 0.62 cm (range, 0.2 to 1.5 cm), and clinical or radiographic evidence of malalignment was not present in any of the patients. In 1 patient a symptomatic 1.5-cm limb overgrowth developed, which was treated with an internal shoe lift. At follow up, the mean modified Lysholm score was 98.8 (range, 94 to 100), and the mean International Knee Documentation Committee score was 89.9 (range, 73.6 to 94.3). Of the patients, 7 (43.8%) underwent a reoperation, and 2 suffered traumatic graft disruption.


ACL reconstruction with a medial hamstring autograft via a transphyseal technique yields satisfactory clinical results in skeletally immature patients. No new meniscal tears were identified after ACL reconstruction, and most patients (87.5%) returned to their previous level of activity. The rate of reoperation was high (43.8%). Physeal growth arrest did not occur.


Level IV, therapeutic case series.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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