Femoral tunnel widening is associated with tunnel malposition but not with clinical failure after medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction with a free gracilis tendon graft
- 142 Downloads
MPFL reconstruction is widely and successfully used for treating patella instability, either as a standalone procedure or in combination. Although different techniques allow for MPFL reconstruction, the use of a free tendon graft is one of the most commonly used. The phenomenon of tunnel widening or tunnel enlargement is well described in ACL reconstruction, but so far only little effort has been put into evaluating this phenomenon after MPFL reconstruction.
Materials and methods
Patients who received an MPFL reconstruction with a free gracilis tendon graft were identified by review of patient files. Additional clinical examination and magnetic resonance imaging were performed to assess tunnel enlargement and clinical outcome.
Fifty-one knees of 49 patients (34 female, 17 male) with a mean follow-up of 3.0 ± 1.4 years were included in this study. Mean age at the time of surgery was 22.6 ± 8.5 years. Mean Tegner score decreased from preoperative 5.3 ± 2.0 to 4.0 ± 1.4 postoperative. Postoperative IKDC and Kujala scores were 74 ± 16 and 80 ± 15, respectively. Twenty-three patients showed a tunnel enlargement at follow-up examination. Of these 23 patients, 20 showed a tunnel that was positioned too proximal, whereas only 13 of the 28 patients showing no enlargement had a tunnel that was positioned too proximal (p = 0.0033). Interestingly, patients showing a tunnel enlargement at follow-up examination also showed significantly better Kujala (84 ± 12 vs. 75 ± 16; p = 0.03) and IKDC scores (80 ± 7 vs. 70 ± 19; p = 0.02) when compared to the non-enlarged group.
Tunnel enlargement after MPFL reconstruction with a free gracilis tendon graft seems to be connected to mechanical overload due to a proximal malposition of the femoral tunnel. Interestingly, this did not influence clinical outcome as patients with tunnel enlargement showed better Kujala and IKDC scores.
KeywordsMPFL reconstruction Tunnel widening Tunnel enlargement Malposition Patella instability
- 8.Lobner S, Krauss C, Reichwein F, Patzer T, Nebelung W, Venjakob AJ (2017) Surgical treatment of patellar instability: clinical and radiological outcome after medial patellofemoral ligament reconstruction and tibial tuberosity medialisation. Arch Orthop Trauma Surg 137(8):1087–1095CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 12.Otsuka H, Ishibashi Y, Tsuda E, Sasaki K, Toh S (2003) Comparison of three techniques of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with bone-patellar tendon-bone graft. Differences in anterior tibial translation and tunnel enlargement with each technique. Am J Sports Med 31(2):282–288CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 13.Struewer J, Efe T, Frangen TM, Schwarting T, Buecking B, Ruchholtz S, Schuttler KF, Ziring E (2012) Prevalence and influence of tibial tunnel widening after isolated anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using patella-bone-tendon-bone-graft: long-term follow-up. Orthop Rev (Pavia) 4(2):e21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 16.Tegner Y, Lysholm J (1985) Rating systems in the evaluation of knee ligament injuries. Clin Orthop Relat Res 198):43–49Google Scholar