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Papers of the Week

2023 Feb




Editorial Commentary: During Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction, Lateral Extra-Articular Procedures Have Risks and Should be Reserved for Proper Indications: Do Not LET ALL Revision Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstructions Be the Same.


Recently, there has been renewed interest in performing a lateral extra-articular procedure (LEAP), either an anterolateral ligament (ALL) reconstruction or a LET (lateral extra-articular tenodesis) to address a deficiency of the anterolateral complex (ALC) of the knee during anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. The ALC consists of the superficial and deep aspects of the iliotibial band with its Kaplan fiber attachments on the distal femur, along with the ALL, a structure within the anterolateral capsule. The ALC functions to provide anterolateral rotatory stability as a secondary stabilizer of the ACL. The evidence to date is that the addition of a LEAP to a revision ACL reconstruction may reduce the risk of repeat graft failure and rotatory laxity. However, in some cases, performing a LEAP may not confer any additional benefit and add unwarranted risk including lateral pain, reduced quadriceps strength, longer time to recovery, and overconstraint of the lateral compartment with associated cartilage damage. Perhaps LEAP is best indicated for high-risk patients (young, active in pivoting sports, high-grade pivot-shift, generalized ligamentous laxity or knee hyperextension, Segond fracture, chronic ACL lesion, lateral femoral notch sign, lateral coronal plane laxity, concurrent meniscus repair, or ALC injury on magnetic resonance imaging). Other modifiable risk factors should not be ignored (graft choice, graft size, tunnel position, graft fixation, associated injuries such as a lateral meniscal root tear, or anatomic factors such as an increased posterior tibial slope). Do not LET ALL revision anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions be the same! A lateral extra-articular procedure may sometimes, but not always, reduce the risk of further failure.