The "lateral gutter drive-through" sign revisited: a cadaveric study exploring its real mechanism based on the individual posterolateral structure of knee joints.Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 2014; 134(12):1745-51AO
Although the validity of the "lateral gutter drive-through" (LGDT) test has been proved to offer high sensitivity and specificity in diagnosing the posterolateral rotational instability of knee joints, the real mechanism on how the injury pattern of individual posterolateral knee structure triggers the positive LGDT sign still remains unknown.
A certain amount of popliteus tendon (POP-T) laxity resulted from specific injury patterns of individual posterolateral knee structure or some degree of medial structural injury will lead to positive LGDT sign.
Controlled laboratory study.
Seven non-paired intact cadaveric knees were divided into four groups and tested under unique sequential sectioning sequences including: (1) distal POP-T and popliteofibular ligament (PFL) (n = 2); (2) PFL and distal POP-T (n = 3); (3) lateral collateral ligament (LCL), distal POP-T and PFL (n = 1); (4) superficial medial collateral ligament (sMCL), deep MCL, posterior oblique ligament (POL), anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) (n = 1). The LGDT tests and the measurements of external tibial rotational angle (ETRA) were first performed on all the intact knees and then at each time point when an additional structure was sectioned. Results of each LGDT test and the absolute value of increased ETRA compared with the intact knee were recorded. Each knee was tested at 30° of flexion. A navigation system was used to measure motion changes of the tibia with respect to the femur.
Initially, the LGDT tests all showed negative on each of the intact knee. Isolated sectioning of the distal POP-T, PFL or the LCL produced increased but insignificant ETRA with the LGDT tests still negative. However, simultaneous sectioning of the distal POP-T and PFL produced significantly increased ETRA with the LGDT tests changed to positive. In addition, for the knee with medial structural injuries, the LGDT test could also be positive only when the posteromedial structures (sMCL, deep MCL, POL) and the cruciate ligaments (ACL and PCL) were all sectioned.
In this cadaveric sequential sectioning study, the LGDT test showed positive merely at the following two situations: (1) the distal POP-T and PFL were both sectioned; (2) the posteromedial structures (sMCL, deep MCL and POL) and the cruciate ligaments (ACL and PCL) were all sectioned.
Accuracy of the LGDT test in diagnosing acute or chronic posterolateral corner (PLC) injuries will improve with the information in this study. It was the combined POP-T and PFL injuries that finally led to a positive LGDT sign. However, one should be cautious to use the LGDT test in diagnosing the PLC injuries when posteromedial structures and cruciate ligaments were all involved.