During a meniscectomy, thirty competitive athletes who were less than
thirty years old were found to have a non-functional or absent anterior
cruciate ligament. Preoperative examination without anesthesia had revealed
minimum to mild anterior instability without a positive pivot-shift or jerk
test. They all had a meniscectomy without reconstruction of the ligament
and all were followed for up to four years (average, 2.6 years).
Twenty-five (83 per cent) returned to full athletic activity. All had
relief of the symptoms of the meniscal lesion and improved significantly,
but six progressed to moderate anterior instability with a positive
pivot-shift and jerk test. Nevertheless, four of the six were able to
resume unrestricted athletic activity.