Adult patients with ACL tears have greater tibial internal rotation in MRI compared to adolescent patients

Chih Kai Hong, Yu Ju Lin, Ting An Cheng, Chih Hsun Chang, Kai Lan Hsu, Fa Chuan Kuan, Wei Ren Su

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: To compare the anterior translation and internal rotation of tibia on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) between adult and adolescent patients with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. Methods: Patients who underwent isolated ACL reconstruction from January 2013 to May 2021 were retrospectively reviewed. The exclusion criteria included incomplete data, poor image quality, a prior ACL surgery, and concomitant fractures or other ligament injuries. The enrolled patients were divided into two groups based on their ages: an adult group (age > 19 years) and an adolescent group (15 to 19 years of age). Anterior tibial translation and femorotibial rotation were measured on MRI. A Student’s t-test was used for the statistical analysis comparing the adult and adolescent groups. Results: A total of 365 patients (279 adults and 86 adolescents) were enrolled in the present study. The anterior tibial translation in the adult group (4.8 ± 4.4 mm) and the adolescent group (5.0 ± 4.2 mm) was not significantly different (p = 0.740). On the other hand, the tibial internal rotation in the adult group (5.6 ± 5.0 degree) was significantly greater compared to the adolescent group (4.2 ± 5.6 degree) (p = 0.030). The intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) of the measured data from two independent observers showed excellent reliability (0.964 and 0.961 for anterior tibial translation and tibial internal rotation, respectively). Conclusion: The adult patients with ACL tears exhibited significant greater tibial internal rotation compared to the adolescent patients, whereas the magnitude of the anterior tibial translation was similar in both groups. Care should be taken if clinicians plan to establish the cutoff point values for diagnosis of ACL tears using the femorotibial internal rotation angle.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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