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J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2011 Aug;93(8):1060-4. doi: 10.1302/0301-620X.93B8.26183.

Does chronic medial collateral ligament laxity influence the outcome of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction?: a prospective evaluation with a minimum three-year follow-up.

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Laboratorio di Biomeccanica, Istituto Ortopedico Rizzoli, Via di Barbiano, 1/10, 40136 Bologna, Italy.


We have shown in a previous study that patients with combined lesions of the anterior cruciate (ACL) and medial collateral ligaments (MCL) had similar anteroposterior (AP) but greater valgus laxity at 30° after reconstruction of the ACL when compared with patients who had undergone reconstruction of an isolated ACL injury. The present study investigated the same cohort of patients after a minimum of three years to evaluate whether the residual valgus laxity led to a poorer clinical outcome. Each patient had undergone an arthroscopic double-bundle ACL reconstruction using a semitendinosus-gracilis graft. In the combined ACL/MCL injury group, the grade II medial collateral ligament injury was not treated. At follow-up, AP laxity was measured using a KT-2000 arthrometer, while valgus laxity was evaluated with Telos valgus stress radiographs and compared with the uninjured knee. We evaluated clinical outcome scores, muscle girth and time to return to activities for the two groups. Valgus stress radiographs showed statistically significant greater mean medial joint opening in the reconstructed compared with the uninjured knees (1.7 mm (SD 0.9) versus 0.9 mm (SD 0.7), respectively, p = 0.013), while no statistically significant difference was found between the AP laxity and the other clinical parameters. Our results show that the residual valgus laxity does not affect AP laxity significantly at a minimum follow up of three years, suggesting that no additional surgical procedure is needed for the medial collateral ligament in combined lesions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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