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Arthroscopy. 2012 Mar;28(3):405-24. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2011.11.021.

Single-bundle versus double-bundle reconstruction for anterior cruciate ligament rupture: a meta-analysis--does anatomy matter?

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Department of Orthopedic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.



To determine whether double-bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction leads to better restoration of anterior and rotational laxity and range of motion than single-bundle reconstruction.


A search was performed in the Medline, Embase, CINAHL, and Cochrane databases. All randomized, quasi-randomized, and observational clinical trials that reported the outcome of double- versus single-bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction were included in our meta-analysis. The primary outcomes were anterior laxity (KT arthrometer; MEDmetric, San Diego, CA), pivot shift, and range of motion. Subgroup analyses were performed for more than 2 years' follow-up, anatomic reconstruction, and nonanatomic reconstruction. The quality of the included studies was scored by use of the GRADE Checklist.


Included 12 studies in this meta-analysis, 5 of which were randomized. There was a statistically significant difference in favor of double-bundle reconstruction for anterior laxity (KT arthrometer difference, -0.6 mm), Lachman test (64% risk reduction of positive Lachman), and pivot-shift test (69% risk reduction of positive shift). Similar results were found for the subgroup with more than 2 years' follow-up and anatomic reconstructions. There were no significant differences for the subgroup with nonanatomic reconstructions, except a 2.6 times risk increase of extension deficit with nonanatomic double-bundle reconstruction compared with nonanatomic single-bundle reconstruction. Most of the included studies were found to have at least one serious limitation in study design.


In comparison with single-bundle reconstruction, double-bundle reconstruction showed less anterior laxity, as measured by the KT arthrometer and Lachman test, and better rotational laxity, as measured by the pivot-shift test. The majority of the included studies had at least one major limitation in study design that decreased the quality of the study.


Level I, meta-analysis.

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