To clarify the morphology of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tibial insertion site in healthy young knees using high-resolution 3-T MRI.
Subjects were 50 ACL-reconstructed patients with a mean age of 21.4 ± 6.8 years. The contralateral healthy knees were scanned using high-resolution 3-T MRI. The tibial insertion sites of the anteromedial (AM) and posterolateral (PL) bundle fibres, and the ACL attachment on the anterior horn of lateral meniscus (AHLM) were segmented from the MR images, and 3D models were reconstructed to evaluate the morphology. The shape of ACL footprint was qualitatively analysed, and the size of AM and PL attachments and AHLM overlapped area was measured digitally.
Tibial AM and PL bundles were clearly identified in 42 of 50 knees (84.0%). Morphology of the whole ACL tibial insertion site was elliptical in 23 knees (54.8%) and triangular in 19 knees (45.2%), but not classified as C-shape in any knees. However, the AM bundle attachment was of C-shape in 29 knees (69.0%) and band-like in 13 knees (31.0%). Overlap of ACL on AHLM was found in 26 knees (61.9%), and the size of the overlapped area was 4.8 ± 4.7% of the whole ACL insertion site.
3D morphology of the intact ACL tibial insertion site analysed by high-resolution 3-T MRI was elliptical or triangular in healthy young knees. However, the AM bundle insertion site was of C-shape or band-like. A small lateral portion of the ACL was overlapped with the AHLM. As for clinical relevance, these findings should be considered in order to reproduce the native ACL insertion site sufficiently.
To assess the role of preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the eligibility for arthroscopic primary anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair.
All patients undergoing ACL surgery between 2008 and 2017 were included. Patients underwent arthroscopic primary repair if sufficient tissue length and quality were present, or they underwent single-bundle ACL reconstruction. Preoperative MRI tear locations were graded with the modified Sherman classification: type I (>90% distal remnant length), type II (75–90%), or type III (25–75%). MRI tissue quality was graded as good, fair, or poor. Arthroscopy videos were reviewed for tissue length and quality, and final treatment.
Sixty-three repair patients and 67 reconstruction patients were included. Repair patients had more often type I tears (41 vs. 4%, p < 0.001) and good tissue quality (89 vs. 12%, p < 0.001). Preoperative MRI tear location and tissue quality predicted eligibility for primary repair: 90% of all type I tears and 88% of type II tears with good tissue quality were repaired, while only 23% of type II tears with fair tissue quality, 0% of type II tears with poor tissue quality, and 14% of all type III tears could be repaired.
This study showed that tear location and tissue quality on preoperative MRI can predict eligibility for arthroscopic primary ACL repair. These findings may guide the orthopaedic surgeon on the preoperative assessment for arthroscopic primary repair of proximal ACL tears.
Level of evidence