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Remnant-Tensioning Single-Bundle Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Provides Comparable Stability to and Better Graft Vascularity Than Double-Bundle Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Acute or Subacute Injury: A Prospective Randomized Controlled Study Using Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Published:November 19, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2020.08.035

      Purpose

      To compare the clinical, second-look arthroscopic, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and dynamic-contrast-enhanced MRI (DCE-MRI) findings between remnant-tensioning single-bundle (RT-SB) and double-bundle (DB) anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR).

      Methods

      Sixty-seven patients with acute or subacute anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury were randomized to undergo RT-SB or DB ACLR. Twenty-six patients in the RT-SB group and 28 in the DB group were evaluated using stability tests (Lachman test, pivot-shift test, and KT-2000 arthrometer) and multiple clinical scores. One year postoperatively, all 54 patients underwent MRI for evaluation of graft continuity and graft signal/noise quotient and DCE-MRI for the calculation of normalized area under the curve (nAUC) as a marker of graft vascularity. Among them, 41 patients underwent second-look arthroscopy for the evaluation of graft continuity, graft tension, and synovialization. The results were compared between the 2 groups.

      Results

      At the minimum 2-year follow-up (28.7 ± 6.4 months), the stability tests, clinical scores, second-look arthroscopic findings, and MRI findings were not significantly different between the groups. However, the mean nAUC values on DCE-MRI for the ACL graft were significantly higher in the RT-SB group than those in the DB group in all 3 zones (nAUCproximal, P = .005; nAUCmiddle, P = .021; nAUCdistal, P = .027; and nAUCaverage, P = .008).

      Conclusion

      For acute or subacute ACL injury, the RT-SB ACLR showed an outcome comparable to that of DB ACLR in terms of knee stability, clinical scores, MRI findings, and second-look arthroscopic findings. Moreover, RT-SB ACLR showed better graft vascularity 1 year postoperatively than DB ACLR using DCE-MRI.

      Level of Evidence

      II, prospective randomized controlled trial
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