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Femoral avulsion fracture of the posterior cruciate ligament in association with a rupture of the popliteal artery in a 9-year-old boy: a case report

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Abstract

Ruptures of the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and especially proximal bony avulsion fractures in children are very rare. This in combination with a rupture of the popliteal artery is extremely rare. Thus, an exact incidence is not available from the literature. Overall, these injuries are severe and often lead to chronic knee instability. We report a case of a 9-year-old boy who suffered a traumatic displacement of the left knee with a rupture of the popliteal artery. Prior to transfer to our department, he was treated by a saphenous vein bypass graft and by a transfixation of the knee using two oblique percutaneous pins. We performed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the knee which revealed a femoral avulsion fracture of the PCL. Other ligaments and menisci were intact. A transosseous femoral fixation using non-absorbable stitches was carried out. A 1-year follow-up after surgery demonstrates intact peripheral perfusion and sensation, straight axes of both legs and a physiological gait. Minimal differences of the length and circumference of both legs could be measured. The posterior laxity (Lachman-test) was about 5/8 mm (right/left knee) and 2/5 mm (right/left knee) in 90° flexion. The range of motion (extension/flexion) was 5/0/140°–/5/100° (right–left knee). Intact cruciate ligaments were confirmed by MRI. Minimal experience exists in treatment of combined injuries to the PCL and the popliteal artery in children.

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Correspondence to E. Hesse.

Additional information

U. Bosch and C. Krettek contributed equally to this work

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Hesse, E., Bastian, L., Zeichen, J. et al. Femoral avulsion fracture of the posterior cruciate ligament in association with a rupture of the popliteal artery in a 9-year-old boy: a case report. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 14, 335–339 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-005-0677-y

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Keywords

  • Posterior cruciate ligament
  • Avulsion fracture
  • Popliteal artery
  • Ligament rupture
  • Knee injuries