BACKGROUND: Postoperative ipsilateral anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears after tibial eminence fracture fixation has been previously noted in the literature. This study aims to describe the prevalence of and risk factors for postoperative ACL tears in a cohort of patients operatively treated for tibial eminence fracture. METHODS: A retrospective review of children undergoing treatment of a tibial eminence fracture at 10 tertiary care children's hospitals was performed. The primary outcome of interest was subsequent ACL rupture. Incidence of ACL tear was recorded for the entire cohort. Patients who sustained a postoperative ACL tear were compared with those without ACL tear and analyzed for demographics and risk factors. A subgroup analysis was performed on patients with a minimum of 2-year follow-up data or those who had met the primary outcome (ACL tear) before 2 years. RESULTS: A total of 385 pediatric patients were reviewed. 2.6% of the cohort experienced a subsequent ACL tear. The median follow-up time was 6.5 months (SD=6.4 mo). Subsequent ACL tears occurred at a median of 10.2 months (SD=19.5 mo) postoperatively. There was a statistically significant association with higher grade tibial spine fractures (Myers and McKeever type III and IV) and subsequent ACL tear (P=0.01). Patients with a subsequent ACL tear were older on average (13.5 vs. 12.2 y old), however, this difference was not statistically significant (P=0.08). Subgroup analysis of 46 patients who had a 2-year follow-up or sustained an ACL tear before 2 years showed a 21.7% incidence of a subsequent ACL tear. There was a statistically significant association with higher grade tibial spine fractures (Myers and McKeever type III and IV) and subsequent ACL rupture (P=0.006) in this subgroup. Postoperative ACL tears occurred in patients who were older at the time that they sustained their original tibial eminence fracture (13.4 vs. 11.3 y old, P=0.035). CONCLUSIONS: Ipsilateral ACL tears following operatively treated pediatric tibial eminence fractures in a large multicenter cohort occurred at a rate of 2.6%. However, in those with at least 2 years of follow-up, the incidence was 21.7%. Subsequent ACL tear was more likely in those with completely displaced (type III or IV) tibial eminence fractures and older patients. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level III-retrospective cohort study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine