Publication Date



Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine


BACKGROUND: Increased posterior tibial slope (PTS) has been identified as a risk factor for failure after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Correction of PTS may improve outcomes after revision ACL reconstruction. There are conflicting reports demonstrating the measurement of the PTS on standard short knee (SSK) radiographs versus full-length lateral (FLL) radiographs including the entire tibia.

PURPOSE/HYPOTHESIS: To compare PTS measurements between SSK and FLL radiographs in patients who failed primary ACL reconstruction. It was hypothesized that there would be high variability between the SSK and FLL radiographic measurements.

STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study (diagnosis); Level of evidence, 2.

METHODS: The medial and lateral PTS were measured on the SSK and FLL radiographs of 33 patients with failed primary ACL reconstructions. All measurements were performed by 2 trained independent observers (A.A.M., J.S.), and inter- and intraobserver reliability were calculated using the intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). Measurements recorded by the observer with the higher intraobserver ICC were used for comparison of the PTS on SSK versus FLL radiographs.

RESULTS: Both the inter- and the intraobserver reliability values of the PTS measurements were excellent. There was a significant difference in mean PTS on the medial plateau as measured on the SSK and FLL radiographs (11.2°± 5.3° vs 12.5°± 4.6°;

CONCLUSION: Results indicated that FLL and SSK radiographs are not interchangeable measurements for PTS associated with failed ACL reconstruction. Because FLL radiographs demonstrate less variability than SSK radiographs, we recommend obtaining them to evaluate these complex patients.


posterior tibial slope, failed ACL reconstruction, standard short knee radiograph, full-length lateral knee radiograph


PMID: 38840791

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