Investigators found few players at the 2018 National Football League Combine had evidence of a posterolateral corner injury, with only 0.4% had residual varus symmetry on the clinical evaluation.
“[Defining] the extent and grade of posterolateral knee injuries in athletes at the NFL Combine is difficult when only subjective evaluations are assessed,” Robert F. LaPrade, MD, PhD, told Healio.com/Orthopedics. “In order to best determine the true objective instability present with posterolateral corner knee injuries, bilateral varus stress X-rays should be obtained.”
LaPrade and colleagues assessed 2,285 players at the National Football League (NFL) Combine and identified all posterolateral corner (PLC) injuries. Investigators reviewed MRI studies and evaluated the side-by-side difference in lateral-compartment laxity with varus stress to identify the PLC injuries. Outcomes from NFL performance were then compared with matched controls.
Results showed that of the NFL players assessed, 16 players had a history of a grade II or grade III PLC tear and surgical management compared with seven players who received a diagnosis of a PLC injury at clinical examination. Investigators noted 13 knees of 22 knees were stable, although, most knees that were surgically treated had significant improvements in stability compared with those that were not surgically treated. Players who were managed surgically started significantly fewer games compared with controls. The mean draft position for players surgically treated for PLC injuries and controls was 132.8 and 111.3, respectively. Of the 16 players who were surgically treated, two said they had a PLC injury recurrence. – by Monica Jaramillo