Management of combined anterior cruciate ligament-posterolateral corner tears: A systematic review

Tommaso Bonanzinga, Stefano Zaffagnini, Alberto Grassi, Giulio Maria Marcheggiani Muccioli, Maria Pia Neri, Maurilio Marcacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A consensus on the treatment of combined anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterolateral corner (PLC) injuries is still lacking. Purpose: To review the available literature on the management of these combined lesions to investigate the influence that injuries of knee posterolateral structures play in the outcome of an ACL lesion. Study Design: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: A comprehensive search was performed on PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, Cochrane, Embase, and Google Scholar databases using various combinations of the following keywords: "posterolateral corner," "plc," "posterolateral instability," "posterolateral injury," "anterior cruciate ligament," and "acl." Results: A total of 6 studies involving 95 patients were included. For those with PLC lesions, 14 patients were treated nonoperatively, 9 underwent an early anatomic repair, while the remaining 72 underwent a reconstruction. In all 95 patients, an ACL reconstruction was performed. Sixty-seven of the 72 patients who underwent a PLC reconstruction were assessed for anteroposterior laxity, with a mean side-to-side difference of 1.5 ± 1.1 mm. Evaluated by the objective International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) Knee Form, 88% of the patients who underwent a PLC reconstruction were graded as good/excellent (A/B). The 9 patients who underwent an early surgical repair of the PLC lesion were evaluated by means of the objective IKDC score, with 3 patients (33%) graded as good/excellent (A/B), and by means of a clinical evaluation, with 5 of 9 patients (56%) graded as 1+ for varus laxity. For the 14 patients who were managed nonoperatively for PLC injuries, the only clinical score available was the subjective IKDC score, with a mean value of 80.5 (87.8 for the 6 patients with type A PLC injuries and 75.0 for type B PLC injuries). Conclusion: There is a paucity of literature focused on the management of combined ACL and PLC injuries. Combined ACL and PLC reconstruction seems to be the most effective approach to these combined lesions. However, future work is needed to explore the long-term outcome of the different treatment options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1496-1503
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Knee
  • Multiligament
  • Posterolateral corner
  • Reconstruction
  • Review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Medicine(all)


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