Increased radiographic posterior tibial slope is associated with subsequent injury following revision anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction Academic Article uri icon


  • Background: Increased posterior tibial slope has been identified as a possible risk factor for injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and has also been shown to be associated with ACL reconstruction graft failure. It is currently unknown whether increased posterior tibial slope is an additional risk factor for further injury in the context of revision ACL reconstruction. Purpose: To determine the relationship between posterior tibial slope and further ACL injury in patients who have already undergone revision ACL reconstruction. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: A total of 330 eligible patients who had undergone revision ACL reconstruction between January 2007 and December 2015 were identified from a clinical database. The slope of the medial and lateral tibial plateaus was measured on perioperative lateral radiographs by 2 fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeons using a digital software application. The number of subsequent ACL injuries (graft rupture or a contralateral injury to the native ACL) was determined at a minimum follow-up of 2 years (range, 2-8 years). Tibial slope measurements were compared between patients who sustained further ACL injury to either knee and those who did not. Results: There were 50 patients who sustained a third ACL injury: 24 of these injuries were to the knee that underwent revision ACL reconstruction, and 26 were to the contralateral knee. Medial and lateral slope values were significantly greater for the third-injury group compared with the no–third injury group (medial, 7.5° vs 6.3° [ P = .01]; lateral, 13.6° vs 11.9° [ P = .001]). Conclusion: Increased posterior tibial slope, as measured from lateral knee radiographs, was associated with increased risk of graft rupture and contralateral ACL injury after revision ACL reconstruction. This is consistent with the concept that increased posterior slope, particularly of the lateral tibial plateau, is an important risk factor for recurrent ACL injury.

publication date

  • 2019