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Systemic Review of Anatomic Single- Versus Double-Bundle Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: Does Femoral Tunnel Drilling Technique Matter?

      Purpose

      To provide an up-to-date assessment of the difference between anatomic double-bundle anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction (DB-ACLR) and anatomic single-bundle ACL reconstruction (SB-ACLR). We hypothesized that anatomic SB-ACLR using independent femoral drilling technique would be able to achieve kinematic stability as with anatomic DB-ACLR.

      Methods

      A comprehensive Internet search was performed to identify all therapeutic trials of anatomic DB-ACLR versus anatomic SB-ACLR. Only clinical studies of Level I and II evidence were included. The comparative outcomes were instrument-measured anterior laxity, Lachman test, pivot shift, clinical outcomes including objective/subjective International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score, Lysholm score, Tegner activity scale and complication rates of extension/flexion deficits, graft failure, and early osteoarthritis. Subgroup analyses were performed for femoral tunnel drilling techniques including independent drilling and transtibial (TT) drilling.

      Results

      Twenty-two clinical trials of 2,261 anatomically ACL-reconstructed patients were included in the meta-analysis. Via TT drilling technique, anatomic DB-ACLR led to improved instrument-measured anterior laxity with a standard mean difference (SMD) of −0.42 (95% confidence interval [CI] = −0.81 to −0.02), less rotational instability measured by pivot shift (SMD = 2.76, 95% CI = 1.24 to 6.16), and higher objective IKDC score with odds ratio (OR) of 2.28 (95% CI = 1.19 to 4.36). Via independent drilling technique, anatomic DB-ACLR yielded better pivot shift (SMD = 2.04, 95% CI = 1.36 to 3.05). Anatomic DB-ACLR also revealed statistical significance in subjective IKDC score compared with anatomic SB-ACLR (SMD = 0.27, 95% CI = 0.05 to 0.49).

      Conclusions

      Anatomic DB-ACLR showed better anterior and rotational stability and higher objective IKDC score than anatomic SB-ACLR via TT drilling technique. Via independent drilling technique, however, anatomic DB-ACLR only showed superiority of rotational stability. All clinical function outcomes except subjective IKDC score were not significantly different between anatomic DB-ACLR and SB-ACLR.

      Level of Evidence

      Level II, meta-analysis of Level I and II studies.
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