Posterolateral Corner Reconstruction of the Knee: Evaluation of a Technique With Clinical Outcomes and Stress Radiography

Posterolateral Corner Reconstruction of the Knee: Evaluation of a Technique With Clinical Outcomes and Stress Radiography

C. G Rios, R. R Leger, M. P Cote, C Yang and R. A. Arciero

The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 2010, 38(8), 1564-1574. DOI: 10.1177/0363546510363462


Background: Injuries to the posterolateral corner of the knee remain a challenging problem and have been cited frequently as a reason for failure of anterior and posterior cruciate ligament reconstructions. Although several reconstructive techniques currently exist, there are relatively few clinical outcomes data after reconstruction of the posterolateral corner.

Purpose: The study was undertaken to examine the clinical outcomes and provide objective data using arthrometry and stress radiography of a posterolateral corner reconstruction technique.

Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

Methods: A retrospective cohort study of a consecutive series of patients who underwent posterolateral corner reconstruction of the knee was evaluated. The surgery featured dual femoral tunnels, a transfibular tunnel, and a free graft to reconstruct the posterolateral corner of the knee. All patients had concomitant reconstruction of one or both cruciate ligaments. Outcomes were assessed using the Short Form–12, Lysholm, and Tegner knee scores. A clinical examination, KT-2000 arthrometry measurements, single-legged hop quotient, and varus and posterior Telos stress radiographs were obtained and compared with results for the contralateral, uninjured knees.

Results: Twenty-four (83%) of 29 consecutive patients were evaluated at a mean 39 months postoperatively (range, 24-81 months). The mean Lysholm and Tegner knee scores were 83 and 6, respectively. The mean difference (± standard deviation) in total anterior-posterior side-to-side KT arthrometry measurements was 1.4 ± 1.3 mm. The varus stress radiographic mean side-to-side difference measured at 20° of flexion was 0.2 ± 1.9 mm. The mean radiographic posterior tibial displacement with a 15-kg stress at 90° of flexion was 3.2 ± 4.5 mm in patients undergoing posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Conclusion: This reconstruction of the posterolateral corner of the knee with concomitant cruciate ligament reconstruction restores varus and rotational stability at a minimum of 2 years postoperatively.

ASCI-ID: 1366-339