Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Clinical Outcomes After Management of Posterior Cruciate Ligament Tibial Avulsion Fractures

Varun Gopinatth, Enzo S. Mameri, Felipe J. Casanova, Zeeshan A. Khan, Garrett R. Jackson, Johnathon R. McCormick, Robert H. Brophy, Derrick M. Knapik, Robert F. LaPrade, Jorge Chahla

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Background: There is no consensus regarding the management of posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) avulsion fractures and the expected outcomes after treatment. Purpose: To systematically review clinical outcomes and complications after management of tibial-sided avulsion fractures of the PCL. Study Design: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: A literature search of Scopus, PubMed, Medline, and the Cochrane Central Register for Controlled Trials was performed in accordance with the 2020 Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Included were studies with evidence levels 1 to 4 that reported clinical outcomes after treatment of PCL tibial-sided avulsion fractures in humans. The quality of the included studies was performed using the Methodological Index for Non-Randomized Studies (MINORS) criteria. A meta-analysis was performed for patient-reported outcome measures using random-effects modeling with 95% CIs. Results: A total of 58 studies published between 1999 and 2022 were identified. The mean MINORS score was 9.90 ± 4.12, indicating overall low-quality evidence with high risk of bias. The studies comprised 1440 patients (mean age, 32.59 ± 5.69 years; 75.2% males) with a mean follow-up of 26.9 ± 19.6 months (range, 5.3-126 months). Most patients were treated with open surgery (63.6%), followed by arthroscopic surgery (29.7%) and nonoperative treatment (6.7%). All patients reported significant posttreatment improvement in both subjective and objective outcomes (P <.05 for all). Arthroscopic surgery was associated with lower postoperative posterior tibial translation compared with open surgery (range, 0.6-3.2 vs 1.7-3.1 mm), greater preoperative to postoperative improvement in Lysholm score (54.6 vs 48.8; P <.0001), higher postoperative Tegner score (6.64 ± 1.03 vs 6.14 ± 2.29; P =.0448), and a higher rate of return to sport (100% vs 89.5%; P =.009). Nonoperative management was associated with a significantly lower fracture union rate (87% vs 99.1%; P <.0001) and greater postoperative side-to-side posterior translation (4.9 ± 4.3 mm) when compared with operative management. Conclusion: Although nonoperative and surgical management of PCL tibial avulsion fractures resulted in high rates of fracture union and improvement in functional outcome scores and a low incidence of complications, nonoperative treatment yielded a high side-to-side posterior displacement (>4 mm) with a lower rate of fracture union compared to surgical treatment.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • PCL
  • avulsion fracture
  • fixation
  • posterior cruciate ligament
  • tibial


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