Factors Affecting Subsequent ACL Injury After ACL Reconstruction

Intercondylar Notch Width and Ligament Size

1 Introduction >
2 Introduction to ACL injury and Intercondylar Notch Width >
3 Intercondylar Notch Width and Ligament Size
4 Intercondylar Notch Width and Height, Weight and Sex >
5 Current Data Regarding Subsequent ACL injury after ACL Reconstruction >
6 Conclusions >
7 References >

The size of the intercondylar notch has been studied by several investigators as a possible factor for ACL injury. The intercondylar notch size, however, is not the actual factor, but instead provides a way to identify the size of the cruciate ligaments that sit in the notch. It is the ACL size that is a factor for ACL injury, not the size of the notch.

Davis et al. 2 performed MRI evaluations on 124 consecutive patients who were evaluated for knee pain but did not have an ACL or a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injury. One MRI view that was located at the mid line of the shin bone was measured for ACL and PCL width. The intercondylar notch width and the widths of the ACL and PCL were measured digitally on the physician-independent console.

The results showed a positive correlation between notch width and the widths of the ACL and PCL. The mean ACL width was 5.7mm (± 1.1 mm) for women and 7.1mm (± 1.2 mm) for men, but the size of the ACL varied greatly for both men and women, from 3 to 10mm.

This study showed that the measurement of the femoral intercondylar notch could be used as an indicator of ACL size and that the size of the ACL is not a standard size but varies tremendously. Shelbourne et al. 1 found that x-ray measurements of the intercondylar notch taken with a back to front view with the patient standing correlated with measurements of the notch that were made during knee surgery. Therefore, x-ray measurements can be used to estimate notch width and native ACL size.

4 Intercondylar Notch Width and Height, Weight and Sex >