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Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in a patient with Athetoid cerebral palsy: a case report

Takuya Tajima*, Etsuo Chosa, Keitarou Yamamoto, Katsuhiro Kawahara, Nami Yamaguchi and Shinji Watanabe

Author affiliations

Division of Orthopedic Surgery, Department of Medicine of Sensory and Motor Organs, Faculty of Medicine, University of Miyazaki, 5200 Kihara, Kiyotake, Miyazaki 889-1692, Japan

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Citation and License

Sports Medicine, Arthroscopy, Rehabilitation, Therapy & Technology 2012, 4:36  doi:10.1186/1758-2555-4-36

Published: 2 October 2012


Recent years have seen ACL reconstruction performed in a broad range of patients, regardless of age, sex or occupation, thanks to great advances in surgical techniques, instrumentation and the basic research. Favorable results have been reported; however, we have not been able to locate any reports describing ACL reconstruction in patients with athetoid cerebral palsy.

We present herein a previously unreported anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction performed in a patient with athetoid cerebral palsy. The patient was a 25-year-old woman with level II athetoid cerebral palsy according to the Gross Motor Function Classification System. She initially injured her right knee after falling off a bicycle. Two years later, she again experienced right-knee pain and a feeling of instability. A right-knee ACL tear and avulsion fracture was diagnosed upon physical examination and confirmed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray examination at that time. An ACL reconstruction using an autologous hamstring double-bundle graft was performed for recurrent instability nine years after the initial injury. Cast immobilization was provided for 3 weeks following surgery and knee extension was restricted for 3 months with the functional ACL brace to prevent hyperextension due to involuntary movement. Partial weight-bearing was started 1 week postoperatively, with full weight-bearing after 4 weeks. The anterior drawer stress radiography showed a 63% anterior displacement of the involved tibia on the femur six months following the surgery, while the contralateral knee demonstrated a 60% anterior displacement of the tibia. The functional ACL functional brace was then removed. A second-look arthroscopy was performed 13 months after the ACL reconstruction, and both the anteromedial and posterolateral bundles were in excellent position as per Kondo’s criteria. The Lachman and pivot shift test performed under anesthesia were also negative. An anterior drawer stress radiography of the involved knee at 36 months following surgery showed a 61% anterior translation of the tibia. The preoperative symptoms of instability resolved and the patient expressed a high degree of satisfaction with the result of her surgery.

Athetoid cerebral palsy; Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction; Involuntary movement; Stress radiography