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No Differences In Clinical Outcomes Between Rectangular and Round Tunnel Techniques For Anterior Crucial Ligament Reconstruction

Published:December 14, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.arthro.2021.11.050

      Purpose

      To compare the clinical outcomes between conventional round tunnel and rectangular tunnel in anatomic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

      Methods

      This was a retrospective comparative cohort study between March 2015 and September 2018. The primary ACL reconstructions using anteromedial portal technique with minimum of 2 years follow-up were enrolled for this study. The exclusion criteria were patients with revision ACL reconstruction, high tibial osteotomy, multiligament injuries, and associated fractures around the knee. Outcome measures included the subjective International Knee Documentation Committee score, Tegner activity score, knee laxity testing, and measurement of the centers of the femoral and tibial tunnels on postoperative computed tomography (CT) images.

      Results

      Forty-seven patients with ACL reconstruction with rectangular tunnel (group 1) and 108 patients with ACL reconstructions with conventional rounded tunnel (group 2) were included consecutively. There were no significant differences between groups in terms of clinical scores or knee laxity, as well as femoral and tibial tunnel positions on CT. One patient in group 2 had ACL failure because of trauma and was treated with revision surgery. Two patients had incomplete tibial fracture, but they healed spontaneously and showed no residual laxity at final follow-up. The intraobserver and interobserver reliability for the radiological measurements ranged from 0.78 to 0.86.

      Conclusions

      There were no differences in radiological and clinical results between rectangular tunnel group and conventional round tunnel group for arthroscopic ACL reconstruction. ACL reconstruction with a rectangular tunnel could be considered as a reliable technique, but care should be taken during tunnel establishment because of risk of fractures and malposition of rectangular tunnel.
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