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Am J Sports Med. 2017 Mar;45(4):856-863. doi: 10.1177/0363546516677723. Epub 2016 Dec 27.

All-Inside, All-Epiphyseal Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Skeletally Immature Athletes: Return to Sport, Incidence of Second Surgery, and 2-Year Clinical Outcomes.

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Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York, USA.
Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, Children's Hospital Colorado, Aurora, Colorado, USA.
Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery Service, Hospital for Special Surgery, New York, New York, USA.



Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in skeletally immature athletes are increasing.


To evaluate the 2-year clinical outcomes of all-inside, all-epiphyseal ACL reconstruction in skeletally immature athletes with 3 to 6 years of remaining growth, with a focus on return to sport and the incidence of second surgery.


Case series; Level of evidence, 4.


Twenty-three skeletally immature athletes were prospectively evaluated after all-epiphyseal ACL reconstruction utilizing a hamstring autograft. The athletes' age, sex, sport, mechanism of injury, radiographs, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings were noted. The evaluation included a physical examination, KT-1000 arthrometer measurements, isokinetic testing, and validated outcome scores. Standing radiographs and spoiled gradient recalled echo MRI scans were obtained at 6, 12, and 24 months postoperatively. A quality of movement assessment and return-to-sport performance analysis were also performed.


Of the 23 athletes, 6 were female (mean age, 11.3 years), and 17 were male (mean age, 12.6 years). At a minimum follow-up of 2 years (range, 24-45 months), the mean International Knee Documentation Committee score was 94.6 ± 4.9, the mean Lysholm score was 97.9 ± 4.0, the mean Marx activity rating scale score was 13.4 ± 3.6, and the mean Hospital for Special Surgery Pediatric Functional Activity Brief Scale score was 23.9 ± 7.0. Lachman and pivot-shift test results were negative in all patients. The mean side-to-side difference on the KT-1000 arthrometer was 0.9 ± 0.5 mm and less tight on the operated side. No significant growth disturbances were noted; however, 6 athletes had a leg-length discrepancy of more than 5 mm (range, 6-18 mm). Two patients had overgrowth in the femur of more than 15 mm (16 mm and 18 mm). Two athletes (8.7%) required second surgery. The mean time to return to unrestricted activity was 13.5 months (range, 8-22 months).


The all-inside, all-epiphyseal ACL reconstruction technique using a hamstring autograft demonstrates excellent subjective and objective clinical outcomes in skeletally immature athletes without physeal arrest.


anterior cruciate ligament; incidence of second surgery; quality of movement assessment; return to sport

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