Assessment of Skeletal Maturity and Postoperative Growth Disturbance After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in Skeletally Immature Patients: A Systematic Review

PLUTO Study Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Growth disturbance is an uncommon but potentially serious complication after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in skeletally immature patients. Purpose: To describe how the pediatric ACL literature has assessed preoperative skeletal maturity and the amount of growth remaining and to comprehensively review the incidence, reporting, and monitoring of postoperative growth disturbance. Study Design: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: This review included studies reporting original research of clinical outcomes of skeletally immature patients after ACL reconstruction. Patient characteristics, surgical techniques, preoperative assessments of skeletal maturity or growth remaining, and postoperative assessments of growth disturbances were extracted. Results: A total of 100 studies met inclusion criteria. All studies reported chronological age, and 28 studies (28%) assessed skeletal age. A total of 44 studies (44%) used Tanner staging, and 12 studies (12%) obtained standing hip-to-ankle radiographs preoperatively. In total, 42 patients (2.1%) demonstrated a leg length discrepancy (LLD) >10 mm postoperatively, including 9 patients (0.5%) with LLD >20 mm; furthermore, 11 patients (0.6%) with LLD underwent growth modulation. Shortening was the most common deformity overall, but overgrowth was reported more frequently in patients who had undergone all-epiphyseal techniques. Most LLDs involved the femur (83%). A total of 26 patients (1.3%) demonstrated a postoperative angular deformity ≥5°, and 9 of these patients underwent growth modulation. The most common deformities were femoral valgus (41%), tibial recurvatum (33%), and tibial varus (22%). Although standing hip-to-ankle radiographs were the most common radiographic assessment of growth disturbance, most studies inadequately reported the clinical and radiographic methods of assessment for growth disturbance. Additionally, only 35% of studies explicitly followed patients to skeletal maturity. Conclusion: This systematic review described significant variability in the reporting and monitoring of growth-related complications after ACL reconstruction in skeletally immature patients. The incidence of LLD and angular deformity appeared to be low, but the quality of research was not comprehensive enough for accurate assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1430-1441
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume50
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2022

Keywords

  • ACL
  • ACL reconstruction
  • angular deformity
  • anterior cruciate ligament
  • growth disturbance
  • leg length discrepancy
  • skeletally immature

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