Beighton Score, Tibial Slope, Tibial Subluxation, Quadriceps Circumference Difference, and Family History Are Risk Factors for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Graft Failure: A Retrospective Comparison of Primary and Revision Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstructions

Published:September 06, 2020DOI:


      To assess patient history, physical examination findings, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and 3-dimensional computed tomographic (3D CT) measurements of those with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) graft failure compared with primary ACL tear patients to better discern risk factors for ACL graft failure.


      We performed a retrospective review comparing patients who underwent revision ACL reconstruction (ACLR) with a primary ACLR group with minimum 1-year follow-up. Preoperative history, examination, and imaging data were collected and compared. Measurements were made on MRI, plain radiographs, and 3D CT. Inclusion criteria were patients who underwent primary ACLR by a single surgeon at a single center with minimum 1-year follow-up or ACL graft failure with revision ACLR performed by the same surgeon.


      A total of 109 primary ACLR patients, mean age 33.7 years (range 15 to 71), enrolled between July 2016 and July 2018 and 90 revision ACLR patients, mean age 32.9 years (range 16 to 65), were included. The revision ACLR group had increased Beighton score (4 versus 0; P < .001) and greater side-to-side differences in quadricep circumference (2 versus 0 cm; P < .001) compared with the primary ACLR group. A family history of ACL tear was significantly more likely in the revision group (47.8% versus 16.5%; P < .001). The revision group exhibited significantly increased lateral posterior tibial slope (7.9° versus 6.2°), anterolateral tibial subluxation (7.1 versus 4.9 mm), and anteromedial tibia subluxation (2.7 versus 0.5 mm; all P < .005). In the revision group, femoral tunnel malposition occurred in 66.7% in the deep-shallow position and 33.3% in the high-low position. The rate of tibial tunnel malposition was 9.7% from medial to lateral and 54.2% from anterior to posterior. Fifty-six patients (77.8%) had tunnel malposition in ≥2 positions. Allograft tissue was used for the index ACLR in 28% in the revision group compared with 14.7% in the primary group.


      Beighton score, quadriceps circumference side-to-side difference, family history of ACL tear, lateral posterior tibial slope, anterolateral tibial subluxation, and anteromedial tibia subluxation were all significantly different between primary and revision ACLR groups. In addition, there was a high rate of tunnel malposition in the revision ACLR group.
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