Hybrid Transtibial Femoral Preparation for Transphyseal Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Radiographic Comparison With the Transtibial and Anteromedial Portal Techniques.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


Transphyseal anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction remains the most commonly used technique for pubescent patients. The transtibial (TT) drilling technique creates vertical and central femoral tunnels to minimize the physeal area of injury at the expense of a nonanatomic femoral tunnel. The hybrid TT (HTT) technique offers the potential of an anatomic femoral position with tunnel geometry similar to that using the TT technique.


The purpose was to perform a radiographic comparison of the HTT technique with TT and anteromedial portal (AM) techniques in adolescent patients undergoing transphyseal ACL reconstruction. It was hypothesized that femoral tunnels created during HTT would be similar to TT tunnels but significantly more vertical and central than AM tunnels.

Study design

Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3.


We retrospectively screened primary transphyseal ACL reconstructions performed in adolescents at our institution between 2013 and 2019. The youngest 20 eligible patients were selected from each technique cohort: TT, AM, and HTT. Postoperative radiographs were assessed for the coronal femoral tunnel angle, as well as the location of the tunnel-physis penetration on the anteroposterior and lateral views. Physeal lesion surface area was calculated. Data were compared among the 3 groups using 1-way analysis of variance followed by pairwise comparisons.


Included were 47 patients with a mean ± SD age of 14.3 ± 1.2 years (n = 9 with TT, 18 with AM, and 20 with HTT techniques). The coronal tunnel angle was significantly more vertical in the TT (60.7° ± 7.2°) and HTT (54.4° ± 5.7) groups as compared with the AM group (48.8° ± 5.9; P = .0037 and P = .02, respectively). There was no significant difference between the TT and HTT groups (P = .066). The only significant finding regarding femoral tunnel location was that the HTT tunnels (28.9% ± 4.8%) penetrated the physis more centrally than did the AM tunnels (20.0% ± 5.1%; P = .00002) on lateral radiographs.


The HTT technique presents an option for transphyseal ACL reconstruction, with femoral tunnel obliquity and estimated physeal disruption similar to that of the TT technique and significantly less than that of the AM technique. The HTT technique also results in the most central physeal perforation of all techniques, predominantly in the sagittal plane.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Jarvis, DL; Vance, DD; Reinke, EK; Riboh, JC

Published Date

  • November 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 9 / 11

Start / End Page

  • 23259671211054509 -

PubMed ID

  • 34820462

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC8607486

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 2325-9671

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 2325-9671

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1177/23259671211054509


  • eng