Primary repair with suture augmentation for proximal anterior cruciate ligament tears: A systematic review with meta-analysis

Harmen D. Vermeijden, Jelle P. van der List, Joyce L. Benner, Maarten V. Rademakers, Gino M. M. J. Kerkhoffs, Gregory S. DiFelice*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Purpose: To assess the outcomes of arthroscopic primary repair of proximal anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears with suture augmentation in the literature. Methods: A systematic search was performed using PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane for studies reporting on outcomes of primary repair of proximal ACL tears with suture augmentation between 2015 and 2021. Primary outcomes included failure and reoperation rates, whereas secondary outcomes consisted of functional outcomes. Proportion meta-analysis was performed to assess the overall incidence of failure rates. Outcomes of adults and adolescent were reported separately. Results: Thirteen studies with 418 patients were included in this study (mean age 32 years, mean follow-up 2.0 years, 49% male). There were no randomized studies and overall grade of recommendation was weak. Overall failure rate for primary repair with suture augmentation was 8% (95% CI 3.9–14.4), but this was higher for younger patients (17%; 95% CI 2.5–63.9) than for older patients (6%; 95% CI 3.8–8.9). The risk for additional reoperations, complications, or hardware removal was low (all <2%), while functional outcomes were good to excellent (all >80% of maximum score). Conclusion: Current literature shows that primary repair with suture augmentation is a reliable treatment option for proximal ACL tears with a failure rate of 8% and good functional outcome scores at short-term follow-up. Although functional outcomes were good irrespective of age, failure rates were higher in young patients (17% vs 6%, respectively). There is a need for high-quality comparative studies with large group of patients to compare these outcomes with ACL reconstruction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-29
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2022

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