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The anatomy of the ACL and its importance in ACL reconstruction

Abstract

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) anatomy is very significant if a reconstruction is attempted after its rupture. An anatomic study should have to address, its biomechanical properties, its kinematics, its position and anatomic correlation and its functional properties. In this review, an attempt is made to summarize the most recent and authoritative tendencies as far as the anatomy of the ACL, and its surgical application in its reconstruction are concerned. Also, it is significant to take into account the anatomy as far as the rehabilitation protocol is concerned. Separate placement in the femoral side is known to give better results from transtibial approach. The medial tibial eminence and the intermeniscal ligament may be used as landmarks to guide the correct tunnel placement in anatomic ACL reconstruction. The anatomic centrum of the ACL femoral footprint is 43 % of the proximal-to-distal length of lateral, femoral intercondylar notch wall and femoral socket radius plus 2.5 mm anterior to the posterior articular margin. Some important factors affecting the surgical outcome of ACL reconstruction include graft selection, tunnel placement, initial graft tension, graft fixation, graft tunnel motion and healing. The rehabilitation protocol should come in phases in order to increase range of motion, muscle strength and leg balance, it should protect the graft and weightbearing should come in stages. The cornerstones of such a protocol remain bracing, controlling edema, pain and range of motion. This should be useful and valuable information in achieving full range of motion and stability of the knee postoperatively. In the end, all these advancements will contribute to better patient outcome. Recommendations point toward further experimental work with in vivo and in vitro studies, in order to assist in the development of new surgical procedures that could possibly replicate more closely the natural ACL anatomy and prevent future knee pathology.

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Markatos, K., Kaseta, M.K., Lallos, S.N. et al. The anatomy of the ACL and its importance in ACL reconstruction. Eur J Orthop Surg Traumatol 23, 747–752 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00590-012-1079-8

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00590-012-1079-8

Keywords

  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Reconstruction
  • Anatomy
  • Rehabilitation
  • Review