The annual incidence of ACL tears is increasing steadily in pediatric patients. Chronic anterior instability causes meniscal lesions at a frequency that increases significantly with the injury-to-surgery interval. Conservative therapy, simple suturing, and isolated extra-articular tendon reconstruction are associated with high failure rates. Intra-articular arthroscopy-assisted tendon reconstruction is a good treatment method, although several different techniques have been described. We used a transphyseal technique with a hamstring tendon graft to treat 14 knees in 13 patients with a mean age of 13 years and 7 months. Mean injury-to-surgery interval was 6 months. Strict compliance with technical rules is required when using this technique. Bone tunnel diameter must not exceed 8mm. Bone tunnels must be as vertical and central as possible. The fixation material must not bridge the physis (at the femur, cortical fixation; and at the tibia, fixation using a resorbable screw no longer than 25mm combined with a staple). Meniscal lesions were present in half the knees and meniscal preservation considered mandatory. Conservative treatment of concomitant lesions was performed routinely. After a mean follow-up of 15 months, no recurrent tears or revision procedures for meniscectomy had been recorded. The IKDC grade was A or B in 93% of knees. The mean subjective IKDC score was 83.3 and the Lysholm score was in the excellent or good range in 93% of knees. Of the 14 knees, 2 exhibited signs suggesting femoral epiphysiodesis, with 4° of valgus deformity compared to the contra-lateral knee and no clinical consequences. Transphyseal reconstruction with open physes conducted in strict compliance with technical rules can be performed to control the instability and preserve the menisci. Nevertheless, this technique carries a risk of epiphysiodesis, chiefly at the femur.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.
Keywords : Anterior cruciate ligament, Skeletal immaturity, Transphyseal technique