Purpose: The coronal lateral collateral ligament (LCL) sign has been reported to be associated with deviated position of the tibia on MRI due to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. However, the relationships between LCL sign and clinical knee laxity evaluations are still unclear. The purpose of the study was to investigate the relationship between the coronal LCL sign and knee laxity measurements. Methods: A retrospective review of unilateral ACL injured patients who underwent ACL reconstruction was performed. The coronal LCL sign was determined using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Clinical grading of the pivot-shift test, KT-1000 measurements, and quantitative measurements of the Lachman test and the pivot-shift test using an electromagnetic system, were compared between patients with positive and negative coronal LCL sign. A subgroup analysis of different age groups was then performed, dividing patients to adolescent (age ≤ 18 years) and adult (age > 18 years) groups. Results: A total of 85 patients were enrolled, of which 45 patients had coronal LCL signs. The coronal LCL sign was not associated with the pivot-shift test clinical grading (n.s), KT-1000 measurement (n.s), the tibial translation during the Lachman test (n.s), or with tibia acceleration (n.s) and translation (n.s) during the pivot-shift test. The subgroup analysis also showed that the aforementioned parameters were not associated with the coronal LCL sign in either adolescent or adult subgroups. Conclusion: The occurrence of coronal LCL sign in MRI did not imply greater clinical knee laxity evaluations in patients with ACL tears. The knee laxity should routinely be evaluated regardless the coronal LCL sign. Level of evidence: Level III.
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