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01.05.2014 | Knee | Ausgabe 5/2014

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 5/2014

Anatomic ACL reconstruction produces greater graft length change during knee range-of-motion than transtibial technique

Zeitschrift:
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy > Ausgabe 5/2014
Autor:
James H. Lubowitz

Abstract

Purpose

Because distance between the knee ACL femoral and tibial footprint centrums changes during knee range-of-motion, surgeons must understand the effect of ACL socket position on graft length, in order to avoid graft rupture which may occur when tensioning and fixation is performed at the incorrect knee flexion angle. The purpose of this study is to evaluate change in intra-articular length of a reconstructed ACL during knee range-of-motion comparing anatomic versus transtibial techniques.

Methods

After power analysis, seven matched pair cadaveric knees were tested. The ACL was debrided, and femoral and tibial footprint centrums for anatomic versus transtibial techniques were identified and marked. A suture anchor was placed at the femoral centrum and a custom, cannulated suture-centring device at the tibial centrum, and excursion of the suture, representing length change of an ACL graft during knee range-of-motion, was measured in millimeters and recorded using a digital transducer.

Results

Mean increase in length as the knee was ranged 120°–0° (full extension) was 4.5 mm (±2.0 mm) for transtibial versus 6.7 mm (±0.9 mm) for anatomic ACL technique. A significant difference in length change occurs during knee range-of-motion both within groups and between the two groups.

Conclusions

Change in length of the ACL intra-articular distance during knee range-of-motion is greater for anatomic socket position compared to transtibial position. Surgeons performing anatomic single-bundle ACL reconstruction may tension and fix grafts with the knee in full extension to minimize risk of graft stretch or rupture or knee capture during full extension. This technique may also result in knee anterior–posterior laxity in knee flexion.

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