Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine | 2019

Failure and Reoperation Rates Following Arthroscopic Primary Repair Versus Reconstruction of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament



Objectives: To compare the failure and reoperation rates of arthroscopic primary repair versus reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Methods: This study retrospectively reviewed all patients with ACL injury operatively treated between April 2008 and May 2016 by one surgeon. All patients with proximal tears were treated with primary repair using suture anchors, or otherwise underwent standard reconstruction. Patients were included if minimum two-year follow-up was present, and were excluded for multiligamentous injuries. Charts were reviewed and patients were contacted to assess failure (instability, graft rupture or revision), reoperation (other than revision), complications and contralateral failure. Results: 154 patients were included of which 56 underwent primary repair (36.4%). Mean age was 30 years (range 14-57), 70% was male and mean follow-up was 3 years (range 2-9). Patients undergoing ACL reconstruction were younger (28 vs. 33, p=0.002) and were more often male (77% vs. 59%, p=0.02). Failure rates were lower following primary repair (10.7%) than ACL reconstruction (12.2%) but this was not statistically significant (p=0.776). Also, no clinical relevant or statistical significant differences were found between repair and reconstruction in reoperations (7.1% each group), complications (1.8% vs. 3.1%, respectively) and contralateral failures (3.6% vs. 4.1%, respectively) (all p>0.99). With revision surgery, no complications were noted following primary repair revision (primary reconstruction; 0%) but 25% of revision reconstructions failed and 1 needed reoperation (8%). Conclusion: This study is the first study to compare the failure and reoperation rates following arthroscopic primary repair versus reconstruction in a large cohort of patients. With the treatment algorithm of primary repair for proximal avulsion tears and reconstruction of midsubstance tears, equivalent outcomes were noted between both treatments. Arthroscopic primary repair is a safe and good treatment for ACL injuries and has similar failure and reoperation rates when compared to the gold standard of ACL reconstruction.

Volume 7
Pages None
DOI 10.1177/2325967119S00297
Language English
Journal Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine

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