The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 33 , Issue 7 , 2141 - 2145

Total Knee Arthroplasty in Patients With Prior Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

Lizaur-Utrilla, Alejandro et al.


Few studies have analyzed the outcomes of total knee arthroplasty (TKA) in patients with prior anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, and the reported outcomes are controversial. The purpose of this study is to assess if prior ACL reconstruction had any impact on the outcome of subsequent TKA.


A matched case-control study was conducted in patients who underwent TKA, including 37 with prior ACL reconstruction and 37 patients without ACL reconstruction. Preoperative and postoperative clinical and radiological data were collected from a prospective arthroplasty database with a minimum follow-up of 5 years. The mean age was 69.6 years, and 59.4% were men. The Knee Society scores, Short Form-12, and Western Ontario and McMaster Universities questionnaires were used for functional evaluations. Visual analogue scale 0-10 was used for patient satisfaction.


The mean follow-up after TKA was 6.1 (range 5-7.3) years. Two patients in the ACL group developed knee stiffness requiring manipulation under anesthesia, while 1 patient in the control group suffered superficial wound infection. At last follow-up, no significant differences in functional or radiologic outcomes were found between both groups. The performance of TKA in ACL patients had increased technical difficulty and significantly longer time of surgery, but this had no influence on the outcomes. In the ACL group, 24 knees had technical difficulty in surgery. The main difficulty in most ACL patients was due to varus deformity and increased retraction of the medial soft structures which required progressive medial release. Other 2 knees had difficult knee exposure. One was an unexpected partial patellar tendon avulsion and the other required planned quadriceps snip.


TKA was an effective procedure for patients with prior ACL reconstruction. The surgeon should be warned of the possible difficulties in the knee exposure and possible need of medial release to obtain an appropriate ligament balance. However, these additional procedures had no negative effect on the outcomes of TKA.

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