Mucoid degeneration of the anterior cruciate ligament. Complete resection as equivalent treatment to partial resection


Anterior cruciate ligament ; mucoid degeneration ; posterior knee pain ; limited flexion ; complete arthroscopic resection

Published online: Jan 09 2021

Nicolas Himpe, Pieter Berger, Hilde Vandenneucker

From the Department of Development and Regeneration, KU Leuven University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
and Department of Orthopaedics University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium


Mucoid degeneration (MD) of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a benign knee pathology, which is often indicated for surgical treatment if symptomatic. Most authors believe that partial ACL resection is the treatment of choice in symptomatic MD of the ACL. This study concerns complete ACL resection as a treatment of mucoid degenerated ACL.

Thirteen patients were treated with complete ACL resection for symptomatic MD of the ACL from 2006-2016. Symptoms included limited range of motion (ROM) and posterior knee pain.

Preoperative and postoperative results of eleven patient were compared. Postoperative recovery was four weeks on average. All patients (100%, n=11) reported an improvement in pain. All patients with a preoperative limited ROM (100%, n=9) reported a return to a normal (subjective) ROM. Eight patients (72.7%, n=8) reported an improvement of knee instability, while three patients (27.3%, n=3) experienced an unchanged knee stability. All patients (100%, n=11) reported a good to very good surgery satisfaction. Preoperative and postoperative KOOS questionnaires were compared and showed improvement in all categories.

Complete resection of the ACL without ACL reconstruction is a reliable treatment for symptomatic cases of mucoid degenerated ACL.