Background: Surgical reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most common orthopaedic procedures, with an estimated 100,000 to 175,000 procedures performed annually. Recently, the all-inside reconstruction technique has come into favor and is theorized to be superior to the complete tibial tunnel technique. Purpose: To compare clinical and patient-reported outcomes (PROs) for hamstring autograft ACL reconstruction (ACLR) performed with an all-inside versus a complete tibial tunnel technique. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Patients who underwent hamstring autograft ACLR via either an all-inside approach (femoral and tibial sockets) or a complete tibial tunnel approach (femoral socket and full-length, transtibial tunnel) at a single institution between July 2011 and July 2015 were reviewed. Demographic information, preoperative comorbidities, surgical details, physical examination findings, and follow-up outcomes were extracted from the medical record. Physical examination data included pivot-shift, Lachman, and range of motion examinations, whereas PROs included the Tegner activity scale, Lysholm score, and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score at a minimum of 2 years after surgery. Return to sport and risk factors for failure were analyzed. Results: A total of 82 patients (mean ± SD age, 25.8 ± 10.2 years) who underwent all-inside reconstruction (median PRO follow-up, 30.1 months; range, 24.7-72.9 months) and 54 patients (mean ± SD age, 21.1 ± 7.3 years) who underwent complete tibial tunnel reconstruction (median PRO follow-up, 25.8 months; range, 23.9-74.5 months) met the inclusion criteria. PRO scores at latest follow-up were comparable between the all-inside versus the complete tibial tunnel groups (Lysholm score, 93.8 vs 94.4, P =.621; IKDC score, 93.5 vs 93.3, P =.497; Tegner activity score, 6.4 vs 6.8, P =.048). Complications (including graft failure) were experienced by 20% of patients in the all-inside group compared with 24% in the complete tibial tunnel group (P =.530). Graft failure before the final follow-up was experienced by 10% of patients in the all-inside group compared with 19% in the complete tibial tunnel group (P =.200). Mean return to sport was 12.5 months in the all-inside group versus 9.9 months in the complete tibial tunnel group (P =.028). Conclusion: All-inside and complete tibial tunnel hamstring autograft ACLR resulted in excellent physical examination findings and PROs at minimum 2-year follow-up. Both techniques successfully restored knee stability and patient function.
- anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction; ACL; all-inside; complete tibial tunnel
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine