CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 · Joints 2017; 05(03): 173-179
DOI: 10.1055/s-0037-1605551
Review Article
Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effects of Notchplasty on Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Systematic Review

Francesco Ranuccio1, Filippo Familiari1, Giuseppe Tedesco1, Francesco La Camera1, Giorgio Gasparini1
  • 1Department of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery, Magna Graecia University of Catanzaro, Catanzaro, Italy
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
08 August 2017 (eFirst)


Purpose Notchplasty is a complementary surgical procedure often performed during anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) with the aim to widen the intercondylar notch and to avoid graft impingement. The aim of this review was to analyze the current literature evidence concerning the effects of notchplasty on clinical outcome after primary ACLR.

Methods Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, PubMed, and MEDLINE were used to search English language studies, from January 1990 to July 2015, concerning the effects of the notchplasty on ACLR, using the following keywords: “ACL” OR “anterior cruciate ligament” OR “ACL reconstruction” OR “anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction” AND “notch” OR “notchplasty” OR “intercondylar notch”. Randomized and nonrandomized trials, case series, technical notes, biomechanical studies and radiological study were included.

Results At the final screening 16 studies were included. Despite widely used, the usefulness of notchplasty during ACLR remains unclear. Some concerns emerged regarding potential harmful effects of notchplasty, mostly related to the knee biomechanics and postoperative blood loss. Notchplasty can be useful in the treatment of arthrofibrosis and in presence of bony spurs of the notch both in primary and revision surgery. However, the level of evidence of available literature is poor and there is a strong need for randomized controlled trials investigating the role of notchplasty on ACLR.

Conclusion We suggest being aware of potential complications following notchplasty during ACLR before deciding to perform notchplasty in primary ACLR, reserving it for the surgical management of arthrofibrosis, treatment of notch osteophytosis and revision ACLR.

Level of Evidence Level IV, systematic review of level II-IV studies.