Magnetic resonance imaging after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: A practical guide

Alberto Grassi, James R. Bailey, Cecilia Signorelli, Giuseppe Carbone, Andy Tchonang Wakam, Gian Andrea Lucidi, Stefano Zaffagnini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is one of the most common orthopedic procedures performed worldwide. In this regard, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) represents a useful pre-operative tool to confirm a disruption of the ACL and to assess for potential associated injuries. However, MRI is also valuable postoperatively, as it is able to identify, in a non-invasive way, a number of aspects and situations that could suggest potential problems to clinicians. Graft signal and integrity, correct tunnel placement, tunnel widening, and problems with fixation devices or the donor site could all compromise the surgical outcomes and potentially predict the failure of the ACL reconstruction. Furthermore, several anatomical features of the knee could be associated to worst outcomes or higher risk of failure. This review provides a practical guide for the clinician to evaluate the post-surgical ACL through MRI, and to analyze all the parameters and features directly or indirectly related to ACL reconstruction, in order to assess for normal or pathologic conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)638-649
Number of pages12
JournalWorld Journal of Orthopaedics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Anatomic
  • Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
  • Complications
  • Failures
  • Graft
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Tunnel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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