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Arthroscopy. 2013 Aug;29(8):1330-7. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2013.05.020.

Anteromedial portal versus transtibial drilling techniques in anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: any clinical relevance? A retrospective comparative study.

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Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Campus Biomedico University of Rome, Via Alvaro del Portillo, Rome, Italy.



This study aimed to undertake a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data comparing, at a minimum follow-up of 5 years (78.1 ± 5.3 months v 75.6 ± 4.8 months), the clinical, functional, and radiographic outcomes of 2 homogeneous groups of athletes who had undergone arthroscopic single-bundle autologous hamstring reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) using a transtibial (TT) or an anteromedial portal (AMP) approach to drill the femoral tunnel.


Ninety-four patients were operated on in 2005 and 2006, and 88 (93.6%) (73 men, 15 women) were evaluated subjectively and objectively, using the Lysholm and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) scores, manual maximum displacement test with a KT-1000 arthrometer (MEDmetric, San Diego, CA) and the Lachman test, and rotational instability with the pivot shift test. Degenerative changes were assessed on radiographs according to the Fairbank classification.


The median age at operation was 29 years (20 to 43 years; SD, 5.4) in the TT group 1 and 28 years (19 to 45 years; SD, 6.1) in the AMP group 2. At the last appointment, the 2 groups had similar results for the Lysholm and IKDC scores (primary outcome). Patients who underwent the AMP approach had less glide pivot shift (P = .42) and Lachman (P = .47) phenomena, with no statistically significant intergroup difference. Radiography showed fewer, but not significantly different, degenerative changes in the AMP ACL reconstruction group at final follow-up (P = .47).


In our series, ACL reconstruction using a femoral tunnel drilled through an AMP provided better rotational stability and anterior translation than drilling the femoral tunnel using the TT technique. This difference likely is not relevant from a clinical and functional viewpoint. The 2 groups of patients were not significantly different in terms of development of degenerative changes seen radiographically at a minimum follow-up of 5 years.


Level III, retrospective comparative study.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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