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22.09.2017 | Knee | Ausgabe 2/2018

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 2/2018

ACL suturing using dynamic intraligamentary stabilisation showing good clinical outcome but a high reoperation rate: a retrospective independent study

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy > Ausgabe 2/2018
Martin Meister, Jonathan Koch, Felix Amsler, Markus P. Arnold, Michael T. Hirschmann



Most of the clinical outcome studies dealing with ACL repair are from the developer’s perspective. It is a fact that these developer-initiated studies tend to interpret the results rather in favour than against their developed technique or product. Hence, it was the purpose of the present independent investigator-initiated study to investigate the clinical and radiological outcomes as well as failure rate of patients who underwent an ACL suture using dynamic intraligamentary stabilisation device in a specialised independent knee clinic.


A retrospective study was performed on prospectively collected data of 26 patients (28 ± 9 years, range 18–50 years; male/female = 17:9) who underwent biologically augmented ACL suture using dynamic intraligamentary stabilisation. Mean time from ACL injury was 15 ± 5 days (range 4–25 days). In addition, in seven (27%) patients a medial meniscus refixation and in four (15%) patients a lateral meniscus refixation was done for associated meniscal lesions. All patients were clinically and radiologically followed up at 6 weeks, 3 and 12 months after ACL surgery using the Tegner and Lysholm score as well as IKDC score. Adverse events such as ACL failure, arthrofibrosis, pain > 3 on a visual analogue scale as well as the need and type of revision surgery were noted.


Four patients (15%) suffered from an ACL retear due to another adequate trauma during follow-up time. In six patients (23%), an arthrofibrosis (extension deficit of > 10° or flexion deficit > 20°) was noted. In five of those six patients, an arthroscopic arthrolysis was performed. Three patients also complained about pain VAS > 3. In nine (35%) patients, superfluous ACL scar tissue and the DIS device including the polyethylene suture and the DIS screw were removed, and in another two (8%) patients, the DIS screw only was removed. In two patients, a partial meniscectomy was performed due to a non-healed meniscal suture. The median Tegner score was 8 (range 6–10) before injury and 7 (range 3–10) at last follow-up (p < 0.001). The mean Lysholm score before surgery was 28 ± 14 and 94 ± 11 at last follow-up (p < 0.001). At last follow-up, 14 patients (66%) showed a normal total IKDC score (A) and 4 patients (19%) were nearly normal (B) and 2 patients (10%) were slightly abnormal (C) and one patient (5%) was entirely abnormal (p < 0.001).


ACL suturing using the dynamic intraligamentary stabilisation device showed satisfying clinical results at 12-month follow-up. However, a retear rate of 15% and a reoperation rate of 35% due to retear or arthrofibrosis appear rather high. These results highlight the importance of adequate patient selection and the delicacy of the surgical procedure.

Level of evidence

Retrospective case series, Level IV.

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