The tibial attachment of the anterior cruciate ligament in children and adolescents: analysis of magnetic resonance imaging
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Recent studies have demonstrated that skeletally immature athletes with an ACL injury may require surgical reconstruction if they return to high-demand sports. This study used MRI to compare the anatomy of the ACL in skeletally immature and adult subjects. Measurements were recorded in the sagittal plane for the anterior-posterior dimension of the proximal tibia, and the anterior, center, and posterior limits of the ACL, and the roof inclination angle of the femur. These values were compared to established reference values for adult knee anatomy. In skeletally immature women (n=7) the ACL anterior limit, center and posterior limit, and roof inclination angle were 28%, 46%, 63%, and 38°, respectively, compared to 28%, 44%, 60%, and 35° in adult women. In skeletally immature men (n=15) the ACL anterior limit, center, posterior limit, and roof inclination angle were 27%, 43%, 59%, and 40°, respectively, compared to 28%, 44%, 59%, and 37° in adult men. In the younger subjects the overall dimensions of the proximal tibia were smaller than that in adults, but the anatomical landmarks for the ACL were proportional. If ACL reconstruction is performed in skeletally immature subjects, the smaller dimensions of the tibia need to be considered, and the use of anatomical landmarks is an important factor in graft placement
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