Partial ACL tears: Anatomic reconstruction versus nonanatomic augmentation surgery

Roberto Buda, Alberto Ruffilli, Alessandro Parma, Gherardo Pagliazzi, Deianira Luciani, Laura Ramponi, Francesco Castagnini, Sandro Giannini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Treatment of partial anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears requires ACL remnant preservation. The goal of this study was to compare the outcome of anatomic reconstruction of the torn bundle with nonanatomic augmentation using the over-the-top femoral route. Fifty-two athletes (mean age, 23.3 years) with partial ACL lesions underwent anatomic reconstruction (n=26) or nonanatomic augmentation (n=26). Intraoperative damage of the healthy bundle that required a standard ACL reconstruction occurred in 2 patients in the anatomic reconstruction group. International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score, Tegner score, and arthrometer evaluation were used preoperatively and at follow-up for up to 5 years postoperatively. One failure occurred in the anatomic reconstruction group. Mean IKDC subjective score at follow-up was 88.2±5.7 in the anatomic reconstruction group and 90.2±4.7 in the nonanatomic augmentation group. According to the IKDC objective score at final follow-up, 96% of knees in the nonanatomic augmentation group were normal vs 87.5% in the anatomic reconstruction group. No significative differences were observed between the 2 groups at final follow-up. Anteromedial bundle reconstruction showed significantly lower IKDC subjective and objective scores and higher residual instability values as evaluated with the arthrometer compared with posterolateral bundle reconstruction (P=.017). The surgical treatment of ACL partial tears is demanding. Adapted portals, perfect control of the tunnel drilling process, and intercondylar space management are required in anatomic reconstruction. The nonanatomic augmentation technique is simpler, providing excellent durable results over time with a lower complication rate. Anteromedial bundle reconstruction is associated with a poorer outcome, especially when performed with anatomic reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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