New Method of MCL Repair DescribedA small, Japanese study reports the results of a new way to repair the medial collateral ligament (MCL) in the knee. Twenty-seven patients with a torn MCL were treated with reconstructive surgery. The surgeons used a hamstring tendon graft.
The authors of this study describe the surgery in detail. All patients had chronic third-degree MCL injuries. Most had an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear as well. With these combined injuries, their knees were unstable.
Hamstring grafts were taken from the patients to use in the repair. The tendon graft was folded over to make a double-thickness. Sutures and screws were used to hold the graft in place.
Results of this new technique were evaluated. Patient symptoms, range of motion, and joint function were the test measures. Joint looseness or laxity was also measured.
Eighty-eight percent (88%) of the patients had normal or nearly normal knee function after the operation. The rest of the patients had pain or mild instability with light activity.
Using this new method of MCL repair most patients went from having severe joint instability back to normal. The authors conclude this new surgery can restore the function of the MCL with good short-term results.
Further studies are needed to test the stability of the joint under various stresses and forces. Long-term results must be studied before this method is used for all patients with MCL tears.
Shinichi Yoshiya, MD, et al. Medial Collateral Ligament Reconstruction Using Autogenous Hamstring Tendons. In The American Journal of Sports Medicine. September 2005. Vol. 33. No. 9. Pp. 1380-1385.
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