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The options for treatment of the young active patient with isolated symptomatic osteoarthritis of the medial compartment and pre-existing deficiency of the anterior cruciate ligament are limited. The potential longevity of the implant and levels of activity of the patient may preclude total knee replacement, and tibial osteotomy and unicompartmental knee arthroplasty are unreliable because of the ligamentous instability. Unicompartmental knee arthroplasties tend to fail because of wear or tibial loosening resulting from eccentric loading. Therefore, we combined reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament with unicompartmental arthroplasty of the knee in 15 patients (ACLR group), and matched them with 15 patients who had undergone Oxford unicompartmental knee arthroplasty with an intact anterior cruciate ligament (ACLI group). The clinical and radiological data at a minimum of 2.5 years were compared for both groups. The groups were well matched for age, gender and length of follow-up and had no significant differences in their pre-operative scores. At the last follow-up, the mean outcome scores for both the ACLR and ACLI groups were high (Oxford knee scores of 46 (37 to 48) and 43 (38 to 46), respectively, objective Knee Society scores of 99 (95 to 100) and 94 (82 to 100), and functional Knee Society scores of 96 and 96 (both 85 to 100). One patient in the ACLR group needed revision to a total knee replacement because of infection. No patient in either group had radiological evidence of component loosening. The radiological study showed no difference in the pattern of tibial loading between the groups. The short-term clinical results of combined anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and unicompartmental knee arthroplasty are excellent. The previous shortcomings of unicompartmental knee arthroplasty in the presence of deficiency of the anterior cruciate ligament appear to have been addressed with the combined procedure. This operation seems to be a viable treatment option for young active patients with symptomatic arthritis of the medial compartment, in whom the anterior cruciate ligament has been ruptured.

Original publication




Journal article


J bone joint surg br

Publication Date





887 - 892


Adult, Anterior Cruciate Ligament, Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries, Arthroplasty, Replacement, Knee, Case-Control Studies, Female, Humans, Knee Joint, Knee Prosthesis, Male, Middle Aged, Osteoarthritis, Knee, Postoperative Complications, Prospective Studies, Radiography, Stress, Mechanical, Tibia, Treatment Outcome