Background: The anterolateral ligament (ALL) contributes to anterolateral rotational stability of the knee. Internal bracing of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and ALL reinforces the ligaments and encourages natural healing by protecting both during the healing phase and supporting early mobilization. Purpose/Hypothesis: To assess the 2-year patient-reported outcomes of combined ACL repair and ALL internal brace augmentation. We hypothesized that significant improvements in outcomes would be seen. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: A total of 43 consecutive patients with acute proximal ACL ruptures were prospectively evaluated for a minimum of 2 years. The mean age at the time of surgery was 25.7 years (range, 13-56 years). Indications for the combined ACL/ALL procedure were associated Segond fractures, grade 3 pivot shift, or high levels of sporting activity. Patients with chronic ruptures or with multiligament injuries were excluded. The Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC), visual analog scale (VAS) for pain, Veterans RAND 12-Item Health Survey (VR-12), and Marx activity scale were collected preoperatively and at 12 and 24 months postoperatively. Patients with any postoperative complications were identified at the time of this analysis. Results: The mean follow-up period was 44.8 months. Five patients were lost to follow-up, leaving 38 patients (88.4%) in the final analysis. The mean KOOS for Pain, Symptoms, Activities of Daily Living, Sport/Recreation, and Quality of Life improved from a respective 64.9, 58.6, 75.0, 33.7, and 28.9 preoperatively to 91.1, 81.8, 96.1, 82.8, and 74.3 at the 2-year follow-up (P <.0001). The mean WOMAC scores for pain, stiffness, and function improved from 77.5, 65.3, and 75.0 preoperatively to 94.6, 88.6, and 96.0 at the 2-year follow-up (P <.0001). The VAS pain score improved from 3.4 preoperatively to 0.7 at the 2-year follow-up, and the VR-12 physical score improved from 34.4 preoperatively to 52.7 at the 2-year follow-up (P <.0001 for both). However, the Marx activity score decreased from 13.3 preinjury to 10.6 at the 2-year follow-up (P =.01). Two patients (5.3%) sustained a rerupture. Conclusion: Combined ACL repair and ALL internal brace augmentation demonstrated excellent outcomes in 94.7% of the study patients. Based on our experience with this cohort as well as our isolated ACL repair data, we suggest that high-risk patients with ACL ruptures have an additional ALL procedure to provide rotational stability.
- ACL repair
- ACL rupture