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Extra-articular procedures for the ACL-deficient knee: a state of the art review
  1. Daniel C Wascher1,
  2. Timothy D Lording2,
  3. Philippe Neyret3
  1. 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
  2. 2Melbourne Orthopaedic Group, Windsor, Victoria, Australia
  3. 3Centre Albert Trillat, Hôpital de la Croix Rousse, Lyon, Rhône-Alpes, France
  1. Correspondence to Dr Daniel C Wascher, University of New Mexico Office, Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001, USA; dwascher{at}


Some patients have continued rotatory instability following intra-articular anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, which limits their functional abilities. Advanced surgical techniques, such as double-bundle reconstruction and anteromedial portal drilling, have not solved this problem. This has led many surgeons to revisit the use of extra-articular procedures to control rotatory laxity. Multiple anatomic studies have confirmed the presence of an anterolateral ligament (ALL) that attaches to the tibia at the site of the Segond fracture. The biomechanical importance of this ligament is still being debated. Extra-articular reconstructions decrease the forces produced by intra-articular ACL grafts. Patients likely to benefit from additional extra-articular reconstruction are: (1) those with high-grade pivot shifts; (2) patients with previous failed ACL reconstructions without an obvious cause; (3) participants in contact sports and (4) patients in subgroups that have a high risk of failure (eg, generalised laxity). A variety of extra-articular reconstructions have been developed. Those techniques that have long-term follow-up data were described before most current orthopaedic surgeons were in practice. The available evidence suggests that performing an additional extra-articular reconstruction can improve rotational stability in patients undergoing intra-articular ACL reconstructions. Newer ‘anatomic’ reconstructions of the ALL have recently been proposed but there are limited data on their effectiveness. Currently, there are no studies comparing different extra-articular procedures.

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