Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy

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  1. Abstract

    Level of evidence Editorial, Level V.

  2. Abstract

    In recent literature, there is a growing interest for the high ankle sprain with emerging evidence on biomechanical behavior, function, injury, and treatment. Interpretation of emerging publications on the distal tibiofibular syndesmosis may raise questions about striking similarities with the anterior cruciate ligament function and pivot-shift mechanism of injury in the knee. This editorial note puts to question whether identical entities, a continuum or separate injuries are faced by contemplating on the mechanism of injury, diagnostics, treatment, and outcome.

  3. Abstract

    Purpose

    The purpose of this study was to evaluate the change in cross-sectional area (CSA) of bone-patellar tendon-bone (BTB) autografts up to 5 years after the anatomic rectangular tunnel (ART) anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). The changing pattern in CSA might be a potential indicator of the graft remodeling process.

    Methods

    Ninety-six (62 males, 34 females, mean age 27.0 years) patients were enrolled in this study with a total of 220 MRI scans after ART BTB ACLR to evaluate the CSA of the ACL autografts. The patients with first time unilateral ACLR that consented to undergo MRI evaluations at postoperative periods were included in this study. Intraoperatively, the CSA of the graft was measured directly using a custom-made area micrometer at the midpoint of the graft. Postoperatively, using an oblique axial slice MRI that was perpendicular to the long axis of the graft, the CSA of the graft was measured with digital radiology viewing program “SYNAPSE” at the midpoint of the graft. The postoperative MRI scans were classified into seven groups according to the period from ACLR to MRI evaluation: Group 0–2 months (m.), Group 3–6 m., Group 7–12 m., Group 1–2 years (y.), Group 2–3 y., Group 3–4 y., and Group 4 y.-. The percent increase of the CSA was calculated by dividing the postoperative CSA by the intraoperative CSA.

    Results

    The postoperative CSA was significantly larger than the intraoperative CSA in each group, with the exception of Group 0–2 m. The mean percent increase of the CSA in Group 0–2 m., 3–6 m., 7–12 m., 1–2 y., 2–3 y., 3–4 y., 4 y.- was 101.8 ± 18.2, 188.9 ± 27.4, 190.9 ± 43.7, 183.3 ± 28.9, 175.2 ± 27.9, 163.9 ± 19.8, 164.5 ± 25.4% respectively. The percent increase in Group 3–6 m., 7–12 m., 1–2 y., 2–3 y., 3–4 y., and 4 y.- was significantly greater than that in Group 0–2 m.

    Conclusions

    The CSA of the BTB autografts after the ART BTB ACLR increases rapidly by 3–6 months after ACLR, reached a maximum value of 190% at around 1 year, decreases gradually after that, and reaches a plateau at around 3 years. The current study might help clinicians to estimate an individual BTB autograft's remodeling stages when considering returning patients to sports.

    Level of evidence

    IV

  4. Abstract

    Purpose

    This study aimed to assess the risk factors for prolonged joint effusion in patients undergoing double-bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR).

    Methods

    In total, 160 patients who underwent primary ACLR using autograft hamstring between 2015 and 2018 were retrospectively reviewed. Joint effusion was defined as any grade ≥ 2 (range, 0–3) according to the MRI Osteoarthritis Knee Score (MOAKS). Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were performed.

    Results

    The median age of the patients was 25 years (range 14–68 years) at the time of the surgery; there were 89 women and 71 men. At 1 year, 46 (28.8%) patients experienced knee joint effusion, as defined by the MOAKS. Univariate analysis revealed that age, preoperative Kellgren–Lawrence (K–L) grade, and joint effusion at 6 months were significantly associated with joint effusion at 1 year. In the multivariate analysis, joint effusion at 6 months was significantly associated with joint effusion at 1 year (odds ratio, 68.0; 95% confidence interval, 22.1–209.4). No significant difference in the Lysholm scores was observed between patients with and without joint effusion at 1 year (n.s.).

    Conclusions

    Joint effusion at 6 months was significantly associated with joint effusion 1 year after ACLR.

    Level of evidence

    III.

  5. Abstract

    Purpose

    Medial pivot (MP) total knee arthroplasty (TKA) aims to restore native knee kinematics due to highly conforming medial tibio-femoral articulation with survival comparable to contemporary knee designs. Posterior stabilized (PS) TKAs use cam-post mechanism to restore native femoral rollback. However, there is conflicting evidence regarding the reported patient satisfaction with MP TKA designs when compared to PS TKAs. The primary aim of this study is to compare the patient satisfaction between MP and PS TKA and the secondary aim is to establish potential reasons behind any differences in the outcomes noted between these two design philosophies.

    Methods

    In this IRB-approved single surgeon, single centre prospective RCT, 53 patients (mean age 62 years, 42 women) with comparable bilateral end-stage knee arthritis undergoing simultaneous bilateral TKA were randomized to receive MP TKA in one knee and PS TKA in the contralateral knee. At 4 years post-surgery, all patients were assessed using Knee Society Score (KSS)-Satisfaction and -Expectation scores, and Oxford Knee Score (OKS). In addition, all the patients underwent standardized radiological and in vivo kinematic assessment.

    Results

    Patients were more satisfied with the MP TKA as compared to PS TKA: mean KSS-Satisfaction [34.5 ± 3.05 in MP and 31.7 ± 3.16 in PS TKAs (p < 0.0001)] and mean KSS-Expectation scores [12.5 ± 1.39 in MP TKAs and 11.2 ± 1.41 in PS TKAs (p < 0.0001)]. No significant difference was noted in any other clinical outcomes. The in vivo kinematics of MP TKAs was significantly better than those of PS TKAs.

    Conclusion

    MP TKAs provide superior patient satisfaction and patient expectations as compared to PS TKA. This may be related to better replication of natural knee kinematics with MP TKA.

    Level of evidence

    I.

  6. Abstract

    Purpose

    A medial meniscus posterior root tear results in the loss of meniscal circumferential hoop stress and causes a pathological posteromedial extrusion of the medial meniscus. Although creating a tibial tunnel in the anatomic place improves postoperative medial meniscus posterior extrusion, no studies have evaluated the relationship between tibial tunnel position and clinical outcomes. This study aimed to evaluate how tibial tunnel positioning of medial meniscus posterior root pullout repair affects meniscal healing status and clinical outcomes.

    Methods

    Sixty-two patients with 64 medial meniscus posterior root tears (mean age 62.8 ± 7.9 years) who had undergone pullout repairs and second-look arthroscopies were included. All 62 patients were Lachman test negative. Three-dimensional computed tomography images of the tibial surface were evaluated using a rectangular measurement grid to assess the tibial tunnel centre and medial meniscus posterior root attachment centre. Spearman’s rank correlation analysis was undertaken to determine displacement distance from the medial meniscus posterior root attachment centre to the tibial tunnel centre and a meniscal healing score, as well as clinical outcomes at 1 year post-repair.

    Results

    Tibial tunnel centres were located more anteriorly and medially than the medial meniscus posterior root attachment centre (mean distance 5.0 ± 2.2 mm). The mean meniscal healing score was 6.7 ± 1.8 of 10 possible points. The 1-year postoperative clinical scores showed significant improvement compared with preoperative scores for all the items. There was a significant negative correlation in the absolute distance between the medial meniscus posterior root attachment centre and the tibial tunnel centre with the meniscal healing score (ρ =  − 0.39, p = 0.002). Furthermore, there were significant positive correlations between the distance between the medial meniscus posterior root attachment centre and the tibial tunnel centre in the mediolateral direction and patient-based clinical outcomes (ρ = 0.25–0.43, p < 0.05).

    Conclusion

    Accurate placement of a tibial tunnel, especially in the mediolateral direction, significantly improved meniscal healing and clinical outcomes at 1 year following medial meniscus posterior root repair. Surgeons should create a medial meniscus posterior root tibial tunnel at the anatomic attachment with particular attention to the mediolateral position.

    Level of evidence

    Level IV.

  7. Abstract

    Purpose

    This study aimed to conduct a multivariate analysis to identify independent factors that predict tibial tunnel widening (TW) after anatomical anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction using bone–patellar tendon–bone (BPTB) grafts.

    Methods

    In total, 103 patients who underwent ACL reconstructions using BPTB grafts were included. Tunnel aperture area was measured using three-dimensional computed tomography 1 week and 1 year postoperatively, and the tibial TW was calculated. The patients were divided into group S comprising 58 patients who had tibial TW < 30% and group L comprising 45 patients who had tibial TW > 30%, retrospectively. Using univariate analyses, age, gender, body mass index, Tegner activity scale, the time between injury and surgery, tibial tunnel location, tibial tunnel angle, medial posterior tibial slope, lateral posterior tibial slope, and length of the tendon in the tibial tunnel were compared between two groups. Multivariate regression analysis was conducted to reveal the independent risk factors for the tibial TW among preoperative demographic factors and radiographic parameters that correlated with the tibial TW in the univariate analyses.

    Results

    Compared with those at 1 week postoperatively, mean tibial tunnel aperture areas were increased by 30.3% ± 26.8% when measured at 1 year postoperatively. The lateral posterior tibial slope was significantly larger (p < 0.001), and the length of the tendon within the tibial tunnel was significantly longer in group L than that in group S (p = 0.03) in the univariate analyses. Multivariate regression analysis showed that the increase in lateral posterior tibial slope (p = 0.001) and the length of the tendon within the tibial tunnel (p = 0.03) were predictors of the tibial TW.

    Conclusions

    This study showed that increased lateral posterior tibial slope and a longer tendinous portion within the tibial tunnel were independent factors that predicted the tibial TW following anatomical ACL reconstruction with a BPTB graft.

    Level of evidence

    III.

  8. Abstract

    Purpose

    Medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction (MPFLR) is often indicated in athletes with lateral patellar instability to prevent recurrence and allow for a successful return to play. In this patient population, the ability to return to play is one of the most important clinical outcomes. The purpose of the current study was to analyze the characteristics of patients who were unable return to play following MPFL reconstruction.

    Methods

    A retrospective review of patients who underwent MPFL reconstruction and subsequently did not return to play after a minimum of 12-months of follow-up was performed. Patients were evaluated for their psychological readiness to return to sport using the MPFL-Return to Sport after Injury (MPFL-RSI) score, which is a modification of the ACL-RSI score. A MPFL-RSI score > 56 is considered a passing score for being psychologically ready to return to play. Additionally, reasons for not returning to play including Visual Analog Scale for pain (VAS), Kujala score, satisfaction, and recurrent instability (including dislocations and subluxations) were evaluated.

    Results

    The study included a total of 35 patients who were unable to return to play out of a total cohort of 131 patients who underwent MPFL reconstruction as treatment for patellar instability. Overall, 60% were female with a mean age of 24.5, and a mean follow-up of 38 months. Nine patients (25.7%) passed the MPFL-RSI benchmark of 56 with a mean overall score of 44.2 ± 21.8. The most common primary reasons for not returning to play were 14 were afraid of re-injury, 9 cited other lifestyle factors, 5 did not return due to continued knee pain, 5 were not confident in their ability to perform, and 2 did not return due to a feeling of instability. The mean VAS score was 1.9 ± 2.3, the mean Kujala score was 82.5 ± 14.6, and the mean satisfaction was 76.9%. Three patients (8.7%) reported experiencing a patellar subluxation event post-operatively. No patient sustained a post-operative patellar dislocation.

    Conclusion

    Following MPFL reconstruction, patients that do not return to play exhibit poor psychological readiness with the most common reason being fear of re-injury.

    Level of evidence

    IV.

  9. Abstract

    Purpose

    The purpose of the present article was (1) to systematically review the current literature and (2) to collect data regarding the postoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearance of third-generation autologous chondrocyte implantation (ACI) grafts and (3) to provide an overview of imaging findings at various postoperative time points.

    Methods

    A systematic review of the literature in Medline (Pubmed) and Embase was performed using the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) guidelines. Articles which reported the post-operative MRI morphological outcomes following the use of third-generation ACI for treatment of knee cartilage lesions were included. All MRI results were allocated to six different time intervals: ≤ 3 months, > 3–6 months, > 6 months–1 year, > 1 year–2 years, > 2–5 years and > 5 years after surgery.

    Results

    A total of 22 studies were included and the study populations ranged from 13 to 180 patients adding up to a total of 951 patients. Parameters such as defect fill, border integration, surface contour, graft morphology and integrity of the subchondral lamina all improve gradually with a peak two years following surgery suggesting complete graft maturation at this time point. After this peak, a statistically insignificant decline is noted for most of the parameters. Signal intensity was found to gradually shift from hyperintense to isointense in the first 36 months and to hypointense later on. Contrarily, subchondral bone edema is not only a postoperative feature of the procedure but also can reappear or persist up to ten years after surgery. As graft failures can appear after two years, consequently, the MRI composite score is also affected.

    Conclusion

    Recurring patterns in postoperative MRI appearance were observed in certain parameters including defect filling, graft signal intensity and structure, border integration of the graft while parameters like subchondral bone tend to be unpredictable. Given the heterogenous findings in terms of clinical correlation, and relating that aspect to the patterns found in this review, an MRI is justified at three months, one year, two years and five years after surgery, unless the clinical symptomatology and individual patient needs dictate otherwise.

    Level of evidence

    IV.

  10. Abstract

    Purpose

    The aim of this study was to assess midterm clinical outcomes in Tanner 1–2 patients with proximal anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears following arthroscopic-surgical repair using an absorbable or an all-suture anchor.

    Methods

    Fourteen (9.2 ± 2.9 years-old) of 19 skeletally immature patients reached the 2 years of clinical follow-up. Physical examinations included the Lachman test, Pivot-shift test, One-leg Hop test, Pedi-IKDC as well as Lysholm and Tegner activity scores; knee stability was measured with a KT-1000 arthrometer. Overall re-rupture rates were also evaluated in all operated patients.

    Results

    At 2 years post-surgery, the Lysholm score was 93.6 ± 4.3 points, and the Pedi-IKDC score was 95.7 ± 0.1. All patients returned to the same sport activity level as prior to ACL lesion within 8.5 ± 2.9 months, with one exception who reported a one-point reduction in their Tegner Activity score. No leg-length discrepancies or malalignments were observed. Four patients presented grade 1 Lachman scores, and of these, three presented grade 1 (glide) score at Pivot-shift; clinical stability tests were negative for all other patients. Anterior tibial shift showed a mean side-to-side difference of 2.2 mm (range 1–3 mm). The One-leg Hop test showed lower limb symmetry (99.9% ± 9.5) with the contralateral side. Overall, 4 out of 19 patients presented a re-rupture of the ACL with a median time between surgery and re-rupture of 3.9 years (range 1–7).

    Conclusion

    This surgical technique efficiently repairs proximal ACL tears, leading to a restoration of knee stability and a quick return to an active lifestyle, avoiding growth plate disruption.

    Level of evidence

    IV.

  11. Abstract

    Purpose

    To evaluate the effects of untreated stable ramp lesions on clinical and functional outcomes, return to sports rates, and complications of patients who underwent anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

    Methods

    A total of 879 patients with anterior cruciate ligament rupture were evaluated. Of these, 66 patients [33 patients with anterior cruciate ligament rupture and stable medial meniscal ramp lesion (ramp + group) and 33 patients with isolated anterior cruciate ligament rupture (ramp − group)] with a minimum 3-year of follow-up were included. Stable ramp lesions were not repaired in the ramp + group. Preoperative and postoperative Lachman and pivot-shift grades, Lysholm knee scores, International Knee Documentation Committee score and 12-Item Short Form Health Survey score were compared between groups. The return to sports rates, level of return to sports, time to return to sports and complications were compared.

    Results

    The mean patient age was 27.8 ± 7.2 years. The mean follow-up period was 47.3 ± 9.4 months. There were no significant differences between groups regarding preoperative and postoperative Lachman and pivot-shift grades, 12-Item Short Form Health Survey mental and physical component summary scores, Lysholm and International Knee Documentation Committee scores, and complication rates (n.s.). Although the return to sports rates (84.8% vs 90.1%) and the level of the return to sports (return to preinjury level: 75% vs 78%) were similar between groups (n.s.), the time to return to sports was significantly longer for patients with ramp lesions (11.1 ± 4.0 vs. 8.7 ± 2.5 months, p = 0.007).

    Conclusion

    Leaving the stable ramp lesion unrepaired does not negatively affect clinical and functional outcomes as well as return to sports rates after ACL reconstruction. However, the time to return to sports is prolonged in patients with ramp lesions In clinical practice, surgeons should be aware that repairing stable ramp lesions is not an absolute necessity and will not affect return to sport rates.

    Level of evidence

    Level III.

  12. Abstract

    Purpose

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the reasons why athletes do not return to play (RTP) following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction from a large single-centre database.

    Methods

    The institutional ACL registry was screened for patients that had undergone a primary ACLR and had RTP status reported at 24-month follow-up. The reasons that patients were unable to RTP at 24 months were evaluated. The ACL-Return to Sport Index (ACL-RSI) was evaluated at baseline and 24-month follow-up to evaluate psychological ability to RTP.

    Results

    At 2 years, 1140 patients returned to play, and 222 had not returned to play. The most common reasons athletes were unable to return was fear of reinjury (27.5%), lack of confidence in performance on return (19.4%) and external life factors (16.6%), i.e. work commitments and family reasons. Other reasons for athletes not returning to play were residual knee pain (10%) and subsequent injury (5%). The ACL-RSI score was significantly lower at diagnosis (40.3 vs. 49.3; p = 0.003) and 2 years (41.8 vs. 78.7; p < 0.0001) in athletes who did not return to play vs. those that did RTP.

    Conclusion

    The majority of patients that report they have not returned to play do so due to external life and psychological factors associated with their injury, including fear of reinjury and lack of confidence in performance. A small minority of patients were unable to return due to residual knee symptoms or reinjury. Pre-operative psychological assessment and intervention may identify those less likely to RTP and provide an opportunity for targeted interventions to further improve RTP outcomes.

    Level of evidence

    III.

  13. Abstract

    Purpose

    Subchondroplasty® is a novel minimally invasive procedure for painful subchondral bone marrow lesions (BMLs). The aim of this systematic review was to characterize the clinical outcomes of the Subchondroplasty® procedure, a novel minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of BMLs. The hypothesis tested was that patients experience improvements in pain and functional outcomes following the Subchondroplasty® procedure.

    Methods

    MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science, and Clinicaltrials.gov were searched from database inception to search date (June 10, 2020) for all clinical studies which discussed Subchondroplasty®. Two reviewers independently screened 45 unique results and 17 studies were included in the final analysis. Data were collected regarding patient demographics, indications, pain, functional scores, conversion to TKA, and complications of the procedure.

    Results

    All but one study were level IV evidence; the mean MINORS score was 9 ± 2. There were 756 patients included, 45.1% were female, and the mean age was 54 years (range 20–85). Thirteen studies investigated the effect Subchondroplasty® to the knee, while four studied the impact on the foot and ankle. Median length of follow-up was 12 months. The most common indication for Subchondroplasty® was joint pain with corresponding BML. Major contraindications to Subchondroplasty® included severe OA, joint instability, and malalignment. Mean pain score on visual analogue scale (VAS) prior to Subchondroplasty® was 7.8 ± 0.6, but decreased to 3.4 ± 0.7 postoperatively. All studies investigating functional scores reported improvement following Subchondroplasty® (IKDC 31.7 ± 1.9–54.0 ± 4.2 and KOOS 38.1 ± 0.6–70.0 ± 4.1). There were consistently high levels of patient satisfaction; 87 ± 8% of patients would be willing to undergo the procedure again. Seven cases of complications were reported, most seriously osteomyelitis and avascular necrosis. Conversion to knee arthroplasty ranged from 12.5 to 30% with length of follow-up ranging from 10 months to 7 years.

    Conclusions

    Existing low-quality studies show Subchondroplasty® to benefit patients with BMLs through reduction in pain and improvement in function, along with a high degree of satisfaction following the procedure. The low short-to-medium term conversion rate to arthroplasty suggests that Subchondroplasty® may play a role in delaying more invasive and expensive procedures in patients with BMLs. Subchondroplasty® is a novel procedure that has promising initial findings, but requires further high-quality, comparative studies with long-term follow-up to better understand the outcomes of the procedure and impact clinical practice recommendations.

    Level of evidence

    Systematic Review of Level III and IV Studies, Level IV.

  14. Abstract

    Purpose

    Despite being a significant public health problem, ankle sprains’ prognostic factors are largely unknown. This review aimed to systematically analyze the literature on acute ankle sprains to compare the prognosis of a combined anterior talofibular (ATFL) and calcaneofibular (CFL) ligaments rupture with an isolated ATFL rupture in terms of progression to chronic ankle instability and other clinical outcomes.

    Methods

    The databases for Pubmed, CENTRAL and Web of Science were searched. Clinical studies reporting the prognostic effect of combined ATFL-CFL rupture versus an isolated ATFL rupture in conservatively treated ankle sprains, with a minimum follow-up of 12 months, were eligible for inclusion. Only studies with a reliable diagnostic method for anterolateral ankle ligaments evaluation, namely ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging, arthrography or stress tenography, were included. The relative risk (RR), along with the 95% confidence interval (CI), was used to quantitatively analyze the main outcomes.

    Results

    Nine papers were selected for inclusion, of which five were suitable for quantitative analysis. None of them found a statistically significant correlation between ligament injury severity and progression to chronic instability. Concerning other clinical outcomes, three studies found a statistically significant correlation between a combined ligament injury and a worse clinical prognosis. From the quantitative analysis, the relative risk (RR) of chronic ankle instability in a single versus a combined ligament rupture showed no significant difference.

    Conclusion

    A significant statistical correlation between a combined ATFL-CFL rupture and chronic ankle instability, compared to an isolated ATFL rupture, was not found. There is, however, fair evidence showing a worse clinical outcome score in the combined ruptures, as well as a decreased return to full sports activities. The use of reliable and accessible diagnostic methods to determine the number of ruptured ligaments might have a role in managing severe ankle sprains.

    Level of evidence

    Level III.

  15. Abstract

    Purpose

    To compare clinical outcomes between the conventional round and rectangular tunnel techniques in single-bundle posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) reconstruction.

    Methods

    Twenty-seven and 108 patients who underwent PCL reconstructions using a rectangular dilator (Group 1) and rounded tunnel reamer (Group 2), respectively, were included. The exclusion criteria were having a concomitant fracture, osteotomy, subtotal or total meniscectomy, and no remnant PCL tissue. A 4:1 propensity score matching was performed. The knee laxity on stress radiography, International Knee Documentation Committee Subjective Knee Evaluation score, Tegner activity score and Orthopädische Arbeitsgruppe Knie score were evaluated.

    Results

    No significant differences were found between the groups in terms of clinical scores. (n.s.) The mean posterior translations were also not significantly different between the Group 1 and 2 (3.6 ± 2.8 and 3.8. ± 3.1 mm, respectively; n.s.). However, 3 patients (11.1%) in Group 1 and 15 patients (13.8%) in Group 2 showed posterior translation of > 5 mm. The combined posterolateral corner sling technique was performed for 27 patients (100%) in Group 1 and for 96 patients (88.9%) in Group 2. We found no significant difference in rotational stability at the final follow-up. One patient was found to have a femoral condyle fracture during rectangular femoral tunnel establishment, which was healed after screw fixation, without laxity, during follow-up. The intra- and inter-observer reliabilities of the radiological measurements ranged from 0.81 to 0.89.

    Conclusion

    Arthroscopic anatomical remnant-preserving PCL reconstruction using a rectangular dilator showed satisfactory clinical results and stability as compared with PCL reconstruction using a conventional rounded reamer. Rectangular tunnel technique in PCL reconstruction could be a good treatment option with theoretical advantage to be anatomic.

    Level of evidence

    Level IV.