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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1996 Apr;(325):50-64.

Technical considerations of revision anterior cruciate ligament surgery.

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Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, San Diego, USA.


Revision anterior cruciate ligament surgery will become more common as the number of primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions increases. Also contributing to this increase are those patients who had anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using synthetic ligaments and other nonanatomic techniques that are no longer used. Preoperative planning is imperative to a successful outcome. This begins with determining the primary, and often times secondary, mechanism of failure for each patient. The determination of the etiology of failure is the first step in a carefully constructed preoperative plan, including the type of revision, skin incision, graft removal, hardware removal, tunnel placement, graft selection, graft fixation, and rehabilitation. The precise preoperative plan should have enough flexibility to accommodate unanticipated findings in the operating room. Rehabilitation protocols must be designed specifically for the revision surgery patient and be flexible enough to accommodate changes based on surgical findings and techniques. Finally, the importance of counseling the patient preoperatively regarding the potential results which, in general, are somewhat less satisfactory than with most primary reconstructions, must be emphasized. However, with proper planning, attention to detail, and adherence to basic principles of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, revision anterior cruciate ligament surgery can provide a satisfying solution to difficult knee instability cases.

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