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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at UCSF provides expert treatment for all aspects of musculoskeletal injuries including inpatient and outpatient surgical care, rehabilitation, and orthotics and prosthetics. Our physicians have specific training and experience in a broad range of orthopaedic specialties such as sports medicine, trauma, joint replacement, pediatrics, oncology, spine, shoulder and elbow, foot and ankle, and hand. The Department is internationally recognized for its work in patient care, education, and research. Our basic and translational research programs focus on cartilage and disc regeneration, fracture healing, molecular and stem cell biology, bioengineering, and musculoskeletal development.

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery

There are 697 publications in this collection, published between 1980 and 2023.
Open Access Policy Deposits (697)

Trends in Anterolateral Ligament Reconstruction and Lateral Extra-articular Tenodesis With ACL Reconstruction in Children and Adolescents.


Anterolateral ligament reconstruction (ALLR) and lateral extra-articular tenodesis (LET) show promise in lowering the risk of rerupture after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR), but there are little data on surgeon practices and preferences in children and adolescents.


To quantify surgeon practices regarding ALLR and LET in the pediatric population.

Study design

Cross-sectional study.


An electronic survey was administered to 87 surgeons in the Pediatric Research in Sports Medicine society. The questionnaire asked several questions about surgeon and practice characteristics as well as indications, preferences, and techniques for ALLR or LET in the context of primary and revision pediatric ACLR. Chi-square and Fisher exact tests were used to evaluate factors that affect surgical preferences.


A total of 63 surgeons completed the survey, of whom 62% performed ≥50 pediatric ACLRs annually; 56% sometimes performed anterolateral augmentation with primary ACLR, and 79% with revision ACLR. The most common indications for ALLR or LET in the primary setting were high-grade pivot shift, knee hyperextension, generalized laxity, and type of sports participation. Surgeons whose practice was >75% sports medicine were more likely to perform ALLR or LET with both primary and revision ACLR (P = .005 and P < .001, respectively). Those who had completed a sports medicine fellowship were more likely to perform these procedures than those with only pediatric orthopaedic training, in both primary (68% vs 36%; P = .01) and revision scenarios (92% vs 60%; P = .002). Of the 28 respondents who did not perform ALLR or LET with primary ACLR, 75% cited insufficient evidence as the reason. However, 96% of surgeons who did perform these procedures expressed interest in studying them prospectively, and 87% were willing to randomize patients.


Findings indicated that 56% of pediatric sports surgeons sometimes perform anterolateral augmentation with primary ACLR and 79% with revision ACLR. Surgeons with sports medicine fellowship training or a mostly sports practice were more likely to perform these procedures. Insufficient evidence was the most common reason given by surgeons who did not perform anterolateral augmentation. However, there was substantial willingness to prospectively study and even randomize pediatric patients to assess the impact of ALLR or LET in this population.

Evaluation of cartilage degeneration in a rat model of rotator cuff tear arthropathy.

Background and hypothesis

Rotator cuff tears are the most common injury seen by shoulder surgeons. Glenohumeral osteoarthritis develops in many late-stage rotator cuff tear patients as a result of torn cuff tendons, termed "cuff tear arthropathy." However, the mechanisms of cuff tear arthropathy have not been fully established. It has been hypothesized that a combination of synovial and mechanical factors contribute equally to the development of cuff tear arthropathy. The goal of this study was to assess the utility of this model in investigating cuff tear arthropathy.

Materials and methods

We used a rat model that accurately reflects rotator cuff muscle degradation after massive rotator cuff tears through either infraspinatus and supraspinatus tenotomy or suprascapular nerve transection. Using a modified Mankin scoring system, we found significant glenohumeral cartilage damage after both rotator cuff tenotomy and suprascapular nerve transection after only 12 weeks.


Cartilage degeneration was similar between groups and was present on both the humeral head and the glenoid. Denervation of the supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles without opening the joint capsule caused cartilage degeneration similar to that found in the tendon transection group.


Our results suggest that altered mechanical loading after rotator cuff tears is the primary factor in cartilage degeneration after rotator cuff tears. Clinically, understanding the process of cartilage degeneration after rotator cuff injury will help guide treatment decisions in the setting of rotator cuff tears.

Level of evidence

Basic science study, animal model.

Fractures of the tibial plateau involve similar energies as the tibial pilon but greater articular surface involvement.

Patients with tibial pilon fractures have a higher incidence of post-traumatic osteoarthritis than those with fractures of the tibial plateau. This may indicate that pilon fractures present a greater mechanical insult to the joint than do plateau fractures. We tested the hypothesis that fracture energy and articular fracture edge length, two independent indicators of severity, are higher in pilon than plateau fractures. We also evaluated whether clinical fracture classification systems accurately reflect severity. Seventy-five tibial plateau fractures and 52 tibial pilon fractures from a multi-institutional study were selected to span the spectrum of severity. Fracture severity measures were calculated using objective CT-based image analysis methods. The ranges of fracture energies measured for tibial plateau and pilon fractures were 3.2-33.2 Joules (J) and 3.6-32.2 J, respectively, and articular fracture edge lengths were 68.0-493.0 mm and 56.1-288.6 mm, respectively. There were no differences in the fracture energies between the two fracture types, but plateau fractures had greater articular fracture edge lengths (p < 0.001). The clinical fracture classifications generally reflected severity, but there was substantial overlap of fracture severity measures between different classes. Similar fracture energies with different degrees of articular surface involvement suggest a possible explanation for dissimilar rates of post-traumatic osteoarthritis for fractures of the tibial plateau compared to the tibial pilon. The substantial overlap of severity measures between different fracture classes may well have confounded prior clinical studies relying on fracture classification as a surrogate for severity. © 2016 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 35:618-624, 2017.

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