High-Grade Posterolateral Tibial Plateau Impaction Fractures in the Setting of a Primary Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tear Are Correlated With an Increased Preoperative Pivot Shift and Inferior Postoperative Outcomes After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
David L. Bernholt, MD, Grant J. Dornan, MSc, Nicholas N. DePhillipo, MS, ATC, OTC, Zachary S. Aman, BA, Mitchell I. Kennedy, BS, and Robert F. LaPrade, MD, PhD
Investigation performed at the Steadman Philippon Research Institute, Vail, Colorado, USA
Impaction fractures of the posterolateral tibial plateau have been previously described to occur in association with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears; however, the effect of these injuries on patient-reported outcomes (PROs) after ACL reconstruction (ACLR) is not well known.
(1) To assess the effect of posterolateral tibial plateau impaction fractures on preoperative clinical knee stability assessed by the Lachman and pivot-shift examinations and (2) to assess the effect of impaction fractures on PROs after ACLR.
Patients undergoing ACLR for primary ACL tears with available magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were included in this study. MRI scans were reviewed for the presence of posterolateral tibial plateau impaction fractures, which were classified according to the morphological variant. Associations with clinical laxity determined by an examination under anesthesia were assessed using binary logistic regression. Also, 2-year postoperative PROs (12-Item Short Form Health Survey [SF-12] Mental Component Scale and Physical Component Scale [PCS], Lysholm, Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index [WOMAC], and Tegner scores) were modeled using multiple ordinal logistic regression to assess the effect of posterolateral tibial plateau impaction fracture classification while adjusting for other covariates. Pearson correlation coefficients (PCCs) were used to assess for correlations between postoperative PROs and the amount of tibial plateau bone loss present.
Displaced posterolateral tibial plateau impaction fractures were present in 407 (49.3%) of 825 total knees included in this study. Knees with type IIIB impaction fractures had an increased likelihood of having a high-grade pivot shift (odds ratio, 2.3; P = .047), with no other impaction fracture types showing a significant association. There were no significant associations between posterolateral tibial plateau impaction fracture type and a higher Lachman grade. Of the 599 eligible knees with 2-year follow-up, postoperative information was obtained for 419 (70.0%). Patients improved in all PROs at a mean of 3.0 years after ACLR (P < .001). Multiple ordinal logistic regression demonstrated a posterolateral tibial plateau impaction fracture as an independent predictor of the postoperative Lysholm score, with higher grade impaction fractures showing decreased Lysholm scores. Pearson correlation testing demonstrated weak but statistically significant correlations between sagittal bone loss of posterolateral tibial plateau impaction fractures and SF-12 PCS (PCC = –0.156; P = .023), WOMAC total (PCC = 0.159; P = .02), Lysholm (PCC = –0.203; P = .003), and Tegner scores (PCC = –0.151; P = .032).
When classified into distinct morphological subtypes, high-grade posterolateral tibial plateau impaction fractures were independently associated with decreased postoperative outcomes after ACLR when controlling for other demographic or clinical variables. Patients with large depression-type posterolateral tibial plateau impaction fractures (type IIIB) had an increased likelihood of having high-grade pivot-shift laxity on clinical examination under anesthesia.
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