Risk of Tearing the Intact Anterior Cruciate Ligament in the Contralateral Knee and Rupturing the Anterior Cruciate Ligament Graft During the First 2 Years After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Background: The risk of tear of the intact anterior cruciate ligament in the contralateral knee after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction of the opposite knee and the incidence of rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament graft during the first 2 years after surgery have not been extensively studied in a prospective manner. Clinicians have hypothesized that the opposite normal knee is at equal or increased risk compared with the risk of anterior cruciate ligament graft rupture in the operated knee.

Hypothesis: The risk of anterior cruciate ligament graft rupture and contralateral normal knee anterior cruciate ligament rupture at 2-year follow-up is equal.

Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods: The Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcome Network (MOON) database of a prospective longitudinal cohort of anterior cru- ciate ligament reconstructions was used to determine the number of anterior cruciate ligament graft ruptures and tears of the intact anterior cruciate ligament in the contralateral knee at 2-year follow-up. Two-year follow-up consisted of a phone interview and review of operative reports.

Results: Two-year data were obtained for 235 of 273 patients (86%). There were 14 ligament disruptions. Of these, 7 were tears of the intact anterior cruciate ligament in the contralateral knee (3.0%) and 7 were anterior cruciate ligament graft failures (3.0%).

Conclusion: The contralateral normal knee anterior cruciate ligament is at a similar risk of anterior cruciate ligament tear (3.0%) as the anterior cruciate ligament graft after primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (3.0%).

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