Clinical Results of Combined ACL and Anterolateral Ligament Reconstruction: A Narrative Review from the SANTI Study Group

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Journal of Knee Surgery


Lateral extraarticular procedures (LEAPs) in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)-injured knee were widely abandoned in the 1990s but have seen a recent resurgence. The aim of this review was to demonstrate that anterolateral ligament reconstruction (ALLR) is associated with evidence of significant advantages and no evidence of historical concerns. A narrative review of the literature was performed. Combined ACL + ALLR is associated with improved outcomes when compared against isolated ACL reconstruction, including a significantly lower risk of ACL graft rupture (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.327, 95% CI: 0.130-0.758), a significantly lower risk of reoperation for secondary meniscectomy following medial meniscal repair at the time of ACL reconstruction (HR: 0.443, 95% CI: 0.218-0.866), significantly increased likelihood of return to the preinjury level of sport following primary (odds ratio [OR]: 1.938, 95% CI: 1.174-3.224) and revision ACL reconstruction (57.1 vs. 25.6%, respectively; p = 0.008), and in chronic ACL injuries, less residual pivot shift (9.1 vs. 35.3%, p = 0.011), and better IKDC (92.7 ± 5.9 vs. 87.1 ± 9.0, p = 0.0013) and Lysholm (95.4 ± 5.3 vs. 90.0 ± 7.1, p < 0.0001) scores, and no evidence of historical concerns. Combined ACLR + ALLR is associated with excellent clinical outcomes with no evidence of the adverse events that led to the historical widespread abandonment of other types of LEAP. Specifically, comparative series have demonstrated significant advantages of ALLR when compared against isolated ACLR with respect to reduced rates of ACL graft rupture, secondary meniscectomy, persistent instability, and significantly improved functional outcomes and improved return to sport metrics.



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anterior cruciate ligament, knee joint, meniscectomy