Bone and Joint Institute

Lateral Augmentation Procedures in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: Anatomic, Biomechanical, Imaging, and Clinical Evidence

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American Journal of Sports Medicine





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© 2018 The Author(s). Background: There has been an increasing interest in lateral-based soft tissue reconstructive techniques as augments to anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR). The objective of these procedures is to minimize anterolateral rotational instability of the knee after surgery. Despite the relatively rapid increase in surgical application of these techniques, many clinical questions remain. Purpose: To provide a comprehensive update on the current state of these lateral-based augmentation procedures by reviewing the origins of the surgical techniques, the biomechanical data to support their use, and the clinical results to date. Study Design: Systematic review. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was conducted via the Medline, EMBASE, Scopus, SportDiscus, and CINAHL databases. The search was designed to encompass the literature on lateral extra-articular tenodesis (LET) procedures and the anterolateral ligament (ALL) reconstruction. Titles and abstracts were reviewed for relevance and sorted into the following categories: anatomy, biomechanics, imaging/diagnostics, surgical techniques, and clinical outcomes. Results: The search identified 4016 articles. After review for relevance, 31, 53, 27, 35, 45, and 78 articles described the anatomy, biomechanics, imaging/diagnostics, surgical techniques, and clinical outcomes of either LET procedures or the ALL reconstruction, respectively. A multitude of investigations were available, revealing controversy in addition to consensus in several categories. The level of evidence obtained from this search was not adequate for systematic review or meta-analysis; thus, a current concepts review of the anatomy, biomechanics, imaging, surgical techniques, and clinical outcomes was performed. Conclusion: Histologically, the ALL appears to be a distinct structure that can be identified with advanced imaging techniques. Biomechanical evidence suggests that the anterolateral structures of the knee, including the ALL, contribute to minimizing anterolateral rotational instability. Cadaveric studies of combined ACLR-LET procedures demonstrated overconstraint of the knee; however, these findings have yet to be reproduced in the clinical literature. The current indications for LET augmentation in the setting of ACLR and the effect on knee kinematic and joint preservation should be the subject of future research.

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