Current Concepts Review   |    
A Comprehensive Review of Partial Anterior Cruciate Ligament Tears
Michael J. DeFranco, MD1; Bernard R. BachJr., MD2
1 Harvard Shoulder Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care, 3G, 55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114
2 Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush, Division of Sports Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, 1725 West Harrison, Suite 1063, Chicago, IL 60612. E-mail address for B.R. Bach Jr.: brbachmd@comcast.net
View Disclosures and Other Information
Disclosure: The authors did not receive any outside funding or grants in support of their research for or preparation of this work. Neither they nor a member of their immediate families received payments or other benefits or a commitment or agreement to provide such benefits from a commercial entity. No commercial entity paid or directed, or agreed to pay or direct, any benefits to any research fund, foundation, division, center, clinical practice, or other charitable or nonprofit organization with which the authors, or a member of their immediate families, are affiliated or associated.

The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc.
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2009 Jan 01;91(1):198-208. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.H.00819
5 Recommendations (Recommend) | 3 Comments | Saved by 3 Users Save Case


A partial tear of the anterior cruciate ligament is characterized by an asymmetric Lachman-test result, a negative pivot-shift test, a low-grade KT-1000 arthrometer measurement (=3 mm), and arthroscopic evidence of anterior cruciate ligament injury.

The pivot shift test is the most important test in determining anterior cruciate ligament insufficiency. A positive test, independent of the grade, is indicative of a functionally deficient anterior cruciate ligament.

Nonoperative management results in an acceptable clinical outcome in the majority of cases.

Progression to knee instability (anterior translation and rotation) depends on the extent of the anterior cruciate ligament injury and the activity level of the patient.

Thermal treatment is not recommended for partial tears of the anterior cruciate ligament.

Symptomatic instability is treated reliably with anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Figures in this Article
    Sign In to Your Personal ProfileSign In To Access Full Content
    Not a Subscriber?
    Get online access for 30 days for $35
    New to JBJS?
    Sign up for a full subscription to both the print and online editions
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities, to comment on public articles, or to sign up for alerts.
    Register for a FREE limited account to get full access to all CME activities
    Have a subscription to the print edition?
    Current subscribers to The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery in either the print or quarterly DVD formats receive free online access to JBJS.org.
    Forgot your password?
    Enter your username and email address. We'll send you a reminder to the email address on record.

    Forgot your username or need assistance? Please contact customer service at subs@jbjs.org. If your access is provided
    by your institution, please contact you librarian or administrator for username and password information. Institutional
    administrators, to reset your institution's master username or password, please contact subs@jbjs.org


    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
    CME Activities Associated with This Article
    Submit a Comment
    Please read the other comments before you post yours. Contributors must reveal any conflict of interest.
    Comments are moderated and will appear on the site at the discretion of JBJS editorial staff.

    * = Required Field
    (if multiple authors, separate names by comma)
    Example: John Doe

    Related Content
    The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery
    JBJS Case Connector
    Topic Collections
    Related Audio and Videos
    PubMed Articles
    Clinical Trials
    Readers of This Also Read...
    JBJS Jobs
    Georgia - Choice Care Occupational Medicine & Orthopaedics
    Pennsylvania - Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
    Ohio - OhioHealth Research and Innovation Institute (OHRI)