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Am J Sports Med. 2013 Apr;41(4):826-34. doi: 10.1177/0363546513476470. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Dynamic evaluation of pivot-shift kinematics in physeal-sparing pediatric anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction techniques.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94158, USA.



Conventional transphyseal anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction techniques in skeletally immature patients have been questioned because of potential physeal injuries. Consequently, multiple alternative reconstruction options have been described to restore stability while sparing the physes in the skeletally immature patient.


All pediatric reconstruction techniques will restore knee stability to intact levels, and the knee stability index (KSI) will discriminate stability patterns between reconstruction techniques.


Controlled laboratory study.


A novel mechanical pivot-shift device (MPSD) that consistently applies dynamic loads to cadaveric knees was used to study the effect of different physeal-sparing ACL reconstruction techniques on knee stability. Six adult cadaveric fresh-frozen knees were used. All knees were tested with 3 physeal-sparing reconstruction techniques: all epiphyseal (AE), transtibial over the top (TT), and iliotibial band (ITB). The MPSD was used to consistently perform a simulated pivot-shift maneuver. Tibial anterior displacement (AD), internal rotation (IR), posterior translational velocity (PTV), and external rotational velocity (ERV) were recorded using an Optotrak navigation system. The KSI (score range, 0-100; 0 = intact knee) was quantified using a regression analysis of AD, IR, PTV, and ERV. Repeated-measures analysis of variance and logistic regression were used for comparison of kinematics and derivation of KSI coefficients, respectively.


ACL deficiency resulted in an increase of 20% to 115% in all primary stability measures tested compared with the ACL-intact state. All reconstructions resulted in a decrease in ADmax and IRmax as well as PTVmax and ERVmax to within intact ranges, indicating that all reconstructions do improve stability compared with the ACL-deficient state. The ITB reconstruction overconstrained AD and IR by 38% and 52%, respectively. The mean (±SD) KSI for the ACL-deficient state was 61.7 ± 22.2 (range, 47-100), while the ITB reconstruction had a mean KSI of 0.82 ± 24.0 (range, -24 to 35), the TT reconstruction had a mean KSI of 13.3 ± 8.9 (range, 0.3-23), and the AE reconstruction had a mean KSI of -4.0 ± 15.2 (range, -24 to 14). The KSI was not significantly different between reconstructions, and all were significantly lower than the ACL-deficient state (P < .0001).


Although all reconstruction techniques tested were able to partially stabilize an ACL-deficient knee, the AE reconstruction was most effective in restoring native knee kinematics under dynamic loading conditions that mimic the pivot-shift test.


This study provides orthopaedic surgeons with objective dynamic rotational data on the ability of physeal-sparing ACL reconstructions to better determine the ideal technique for ACL construction in skeletally immature patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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