Vijay PatilBasildon University Hospital, UK
Title: Growth disturbances following paediatric anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: A systematic review
Growth disturbances after transphyseal paediatric anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction have led to the development of physeal-sparing techniques. The aim of this study is to investigate growth disturbances following paediatric ACL reconstruction and identify associated risk factors.
A systematic search on PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science databases was conducted using Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines to identify case series reporting paediatric ACL reconstructions. Of 518 articles, 78 met the inclusion criteria, and data related to growth disturbances and graft failures were extracted.
A total of 2,693 paediatric ACL reconstructions resulted in 70 growth disturbances (2.6%): 17 were varus, 26 were valgus, 13 were shortening, 14 were lengthening and five patients had reduced tibial slope. Some patients showed deformities in more than one plane. Coronal plane deformities were seen more frequently with eccentric physeal arrest and lengthening with intraepiphyseal tunnelling. Shortening and reduced tibial slope were related to large central physeal arrest and anterior tibial physeal arrest, respectively. Sixty-two studies documented 166 graft failures in 2,120 reconstructions (7.8%). The extraphyseal technique was least likely to result in growth disturbances and graft failure.
Paediatric ACL reconstruction is a safe and effective treatment of rupture. Growth disturbances are least likely following extraphyseal tunnelling, and those resulting from transphyseal techniques can be minimised by reducing drill size, drilling steep and avoiding the physeal periphery. The insertion of hardware, synthetic material, or a bone plug through the drilled physis should be avoided. There is a greater need for robust long-term data collection, such as national ligament registries, to standardise practice and evaluate the risk of growth disturbance and re-ruptures in this treatment.
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