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Am J Sports Med. 2016 Apr;44(4):916-21. doi: 10.1177/0363546515623966. Epub 2016 Feb 3.

Comparison of Anatomic Posterolateral Knee Reconstruction Using 2 Different Popliteofibular Ligament Techniques.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Center for Joint Diseases and Rheumatism, Kyung Hee University Hospital at Gangdong, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Physical Education, Graduate School of Education, Yongin University, Yongin, Korea.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital, Seoul, Korea



Anatomic posterolateral knee reconstruction is a surgical procedure that reconstructs the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), the popliteus tendon, and the popliteofibular ligament (PFL). Until recently, diverse techniques have been reported for this reconstruction; however, the gold standard is still a matter of debate.


Clinical outcomes and stability with tibiofibular-based PFL reconstruction would be better than those with femorofibular-based PFL reconstruction.


Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.


The records of 10 patients who underwent anatomic posterolateral knee reconstruction between January 2011 and December 2012 (LCL, popliteus tendon, tibiofibular-based PFL reconstruction [group A]) with a minimum follow-up of 24 months were retrospectively reviewed. Ten patients who underwent anatomic posterolateral knee reconstruction (LCL, popliteus tendon, femorofibular-based PFL reconstruction [group B]) using a split Achilles tendon allograft were recruited into a matched control group. All patients in both groups had an associate posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury, and 8 in each group underwent concomitant PCL reconstruction. Clinical outcomes were evaluated with International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) subjective, Lysholm, and Tegner activity scale scores. Knee stability was assessed with the dial test for the evaluation of external rotation as well as varus and posterior instability by stress radiography.


The mean (±SD) follow-up period was 29.5 ± 3.8 months in group A and 60.4 ± 33.8 months in group B. There were no clinically significant between-group differences in IKDC subjective scores (group A: 83.8 ± 5.4, group B: 82.7 ± 6.5; P = .853), Lysholm scores (group A: 83.4 ± 5.1, group B: 84.1 ± 7.3; P = .853), or Tegner activity scale scores (group A: 4.8 ± 1.4, group B: 4.2 ± 0.9; P = .436) at the final follow-up. In addition, there was no difference in side-to-side measurements on varus stress radiography (group A: 0.9 ± 0.7 mm, group B: 1.3 ± 1.2 mm; P = .481) or posterior stress radiography (group A: 5.3 ± 1.9 mm, group B: 5.4 ± 2.2 mm; P = .971) at the final follow-up. Although the external rotation grade of the tibia was not significantly different between groups preoperatively (P = .709), it was smaller in group A at the final follow-up (P = .044).


There were no significant differences in clinical outcomes or varus stability between the 2 techniques of PFL reconstruction in patients with posterolateral corner injuries who underwent anatomic posterolateral knee reconstruction. However, the external rotation grade of the tibia was smaller in the group that underwent tibiofibular-based PFL reconstruction.


popliteofibular ligament; posterolateral knee reconstruction; posterolateral rotatory instability

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