Comparison of transtibial and retrograde outside-in techniques of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in terms of graft nature and clinical outcomes: a case control study using 3T MRI.Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2017 Mar; 137(3):357-365.AO
This study was performed to compare ACL graft maturation and morphologies using MRI between trans-tibial (TT) and retrograde outside-in (OI) techniques, and to compare clinical outcomes between the two groups.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Patients underwent single-tunnel ACL reconstruction using quadrupled hamstring autografts, with the TT technique used on 42 patients (TT group) and the retrograde OI technique used on 39 patients (OI group). All patients were examined with 3 T MRI at 6 months (between 5 and 7 months) after surgery. The signal intensity of the reconstructed graft was analyzed and compared between the two groups, using the signal/noise quotient (SNQ), the orientation of the ACL graft and the tibial tunnel location of the graft. The SNQ value is indicative of graft maturation, and the orientation of the graft and the tibial tunnel location of the graft represent graft morphology. Clinical evaluation was performed before the surgery and 2 years or more after the surgery.
The mean SNQ value of the TT group was significantly (P = 0.030) lower than that of the OI group. The mean sagittal ACL angle (P < 0.001) and the mean coronal ACL angle (P < 0.001) were more vertical in the TT group. The tibial tunnel aperture was located at a significantly (P < 0.001) more posterior position in the TT group. There was no statistically significant difference in the clinical results between the two groups.
The OI technique showed a more anteriorly positioned tibial tunnel and a more oblique graft orientation in both sagittal and coronal planes. However, in comparison with the TT group, a significantly higher SNQ value was noticed in the follow-up MRI of the OI group at 6 months, although clinical results of the two groups were not significantly different during at least the 2-year follow-up.