Robert S. Dean, MD, Nicholas N. DePhillipo, PhD, ATC, OTC, and Robert F. LaPrade, MD, PhD
Investigation performed at Twin Cities Orthopedics, Edina, Minnesota, USA



Increased posterior tibial slope (PTS) is a risk factor for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture and failure of ACL reconstruction (ACLR) grafts.


The purpose was to conduct a systematic review of literature on PTS measurements and to conduct a meta-analysis of comparable PTS measurements based on a patient’s ACL status. It was hypothesized that patients with torn ACLR grafts would have significantly larger medial and lateral PTS compared with patients with native ACLs or those who underwent primary ACLR.

Study Design:

Systematic review; Level of evidence, 4.


A systematic review was performed using PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta Analyses) guidelines. Included were studies that reported medial and/or lateral PTS measurements, those that reported PTS measurements based on ACL status (ie, intact ACL, primary ACL tear, failed ipsilateral ACLR, or revision ACLR), and those that reported their specific PTS measurement technique. Average PTS measurements, measurement location (medial or lateral tibial plateau) and technique, imaging modality used, and ACL status were extracted from each study. Data were pooled using Der Simonian and Laird random-effects models, and results were compared using the Altman interaction test. Results: The literature search identified 1705 studies, of which 82 (N ¼ 12,971 patients) were included. There were 4028 patients in the intact ACL group (31%), 7405 in the primary ACLR group (57%), and 1538 in the failed ACLR group (12%). Measurements were obtained from lateral radiographs in 31 studies (38%), from magnetic resonance imaging in 47 studies (57%), and from computed tomography in 4 studies (5%). The failed ACLR group had a significantly larger lateral PTS (9.55; 95% CI, 8.47-10.63) than either the primary ACL tear (7.13; 95% CI, 6.58-7.67) or intact ACL (5.57; 95% CI, 5.03-6.11) groups (P < .001 for both). The failed ACLR group also had a significantly larger medial PTS (9.05; 95% CI, 7.80-10.30) than the primary (6.24; 95% CI, 5.71-6.78) or intact ACL (6.28; 95% CI, 5.21-7.35) groups (P < .001 for both).


Both lateral and medial PTS measurements were greater in patients who had failed previous ACLR than those with a primary ACL tear or an intact native ACL. The lateral PTS of patients with primary ACL tears was greater than those with an intact native ACL

You may download the study: Posterior Tibial Slope in Patients With Torn ACL Reconstruction Grafts Compared With Primary Tear or Native ACL