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24.12.2015 | Knee | Ausgabe 8/2017 Open Access

Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy 8/2017

Assessment of knee laxity using a robotic testing device: a comparison to the manual clinical knee examination

Zeitschrift:
Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy > Ausgabe 8/2017
Autoren:
T. P. Branch, S. K. Stinton, R. Siebold, H. I. Freedberg, C. A. Jacobs, W. C. Hutton

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to collect knee laxity data using a robotic testing device. The data collected were then compared to the results obtained from manual clinical examination.

Methods

Two human cadavers were studied. A medial collateral ligament (MCL) tear was simulated in the left knee of cadaver 1, and a posterolateral corner (PLC) injury was simulated in the right knee of cadaver 2. Contralateral knees were left intact. Five blinded examiners carried out manual clinical examination on the knees. Laxity grades and a diagnosis were recorded. Using a robotic knee device which can measure knee laxity in three planes of motion: anterior–posterior, internal–external tibia rotation, and varus–valgus, quantitative data were obtained to document tibial motion relative to the femur.

Results

One of the five examiners correctly diagnosed the MCL injury. Robotic testing showed a 1.7° larger valgus angle, 3° greater tibial internal rotation, and lower endpoint stiffness (11.1 vs. 24.6 Nm/°) in the MCL-injured knee during varus–valgus testing when compared to the intact knee and 4.9 mm greater medial tibial translation during rotational testing. Two of the five examiners correctly diagnosed the PLC injury, while the other examiners diagnosed an MCL tear. The PLC-injured knee demonstrated 4.1 mm more lateral tibial translation and 2.2 mm more posterior tibial translation during varus–valgus testing when compared to the intact knee.

Conclusions

The robotic testing device was able to provide objective numerical data that reflected differences between the injured knees and the uninjured knees in both cadavers. The examiners that performed the manual clinical examination on the cadaver knees proved to be poor at diagnosing the injuries. Robotic testing could act as an adjunct to the manual clinical examination by supplying numbers that could improve diagnosis of knee injury.

Level of evidence

Level II.

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