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The history of ACL surgery
By Ph. Colombet, M. Allard, V. Bousquet, C. Delavigne, P.H. Flurin in category HISTORY
Centre de Chirurgie Orthopédique et Sportive de Bordeaux-Mérignac - 9 rue Jean Moulin - 33700 MERIGNAC
Reconstructions of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) are among the most frequently performed procedures in knee surgery nowadays. Looking at the history of ACL surgery, it is amazing to see how long it took for some diagnostic and management techniques to establish themselves. Long ago, the ACL was a structure that never had a scalpel come near it. However, since the early 20th century, there has been increasing awareness of, and interest in, the ligament and its lesions; and since then, the former Cinderella has moved very much more centre stage.
As far back as 1845, Amédée Bonnet(2,3) of the Lyon school, wrote a treatise on joint disorders causing bloody effusions, in which he analyzed knee injuries. He described three essential signs indicative of acute ACL rupture: “In patients who have not suffered a fracture, a snapping noise, haemarthrosis, and loss of function are characteristic of ligamentous injury in the knee.” His statement was based upon his clinical experience, as well as on cadaver studies in which he produced knee injuries and then dissected the knee to see what lesional pattern had occurred. The paper remained unknown - after all, it was not published in English.
In 1875, Georges K. Noulis (1849-1919)32 (Fig. 1), a brilliant Greek who had...
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