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Dynamic ultrasound assessment of the anterior tibial translation for anterior cruciate ligament tears diagnostic

Stoianov AG, Hogea BG, Andor B, Misca LC, Florescu S, Onofrei RR, Patrascu JM Jr

Journal of Clinical Medicine 2022 Apr 12;11(8):2152

primary study

The aim of our study was to investigate the accuracy of dynamic ultrasound assessment of the anterior tibial translation, in diagnosing anterior cruciate ligament tears, and to assess its test- retest reliability. Twenty-three patients (32 +/- 8.42 years; 69.56% males) with a history of knee trauma and knee instability participated in the study. Knee ultrasound was performed by an experienced orthopedic surgeon. The anterior tibial translation was measured in both knees and differences between the injured and uninjured knee were calculated. Side-to-side differences > 1 mm were considered a positive diagnosis of an ACL tear. The anterior tibial translation values were 3.34 +/- 1.48 mm in injured knees and 0.86 +/- 0.78 mm in uninjured knees. Side-to-side differences > 1 mm were found in 22 cases (95.65%). The diagnosis accuracy was 91.30% (95%CI 71.96 to 98.92%) and sensitivity 95.45% (95%CI 77.15 to 99.88%). The intraclass correlation coefficient showed an excellent test-retest reliability (ICC[3,1] = 0.97 for the side-to-side difference in anterior tibial translation). The study highlights the accuracy and reliability of the dynamic ultrasound assessment of the anterior tibial translation in the diagnosis of unilateral anterior cruciate ligament tears. Ultrasound assessment is an accessible imaging tool that can provide valuable information and should be used together with physical examination in suspected cases of ACL injuries.

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