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Arch Orthop Trauma Surg. 2005 Nov;125(9):577-84.

Biomechanical evaluation of a bioabsorbable expansion bolt for hamstring graft fixation in ACL reconstruction: an experimental study in calf tibial bone.

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  • 1Unfallchirurgie der Chirurgischen Klinik und Poliklinik Grosshadern, Klinikum der Universität München, Marchioninistr 15, 81366 München, Germany. spiltz@med.uni-muenchen.de



The purpose of our study was to evaluate and compare the primary fixation strength of a novel bioabsorbable two shell expansion bolt (EB) with that of a well-established interference screw-fixation technique in hamstring reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament.


Thirty calf tibia plateaus (age 5-6 months) were assigned to three groups: In group I (n = 10) triple-stranded hamstring grafts were fixed with titanium interference screws (7 mm thread / 8 mm head x 25 mm). Specimens of group II (n = 10) received bioabsorbable poly-L-lactide interference screws (8 x 23 mm). In group III (n = 10), the grafts were fixed using bioabsorbable poly-D,L-lactide expansion bolts (5.8/8.5/10 mm x 35 mm). The tensile axis was placed parallel to the bone tunnel. The construction was then loaded until failure under a displacement rate of 1 mm per second.


There were no significant differences concerning the maximum pullout force (group I: 357 N +/- 61; group II: 326 N +/- 92; group III: 343 N +/- 55). In case of the expansion bolt, we found the stiffness to be higher (61 N/mm) when compared to group I (48 N/mm), and group II (52N/mm) (P < 0.01 I vs. III). Using interference screws, we were able to demonstrate a strong correlation between torque and pullout forces (group I: r2 = 0.7; group II: r2 = 0.92). Ruptures of the suturing material occurred only in groups I and II.


We conclude that hamstring graft fixation, using the presented expansion bolt, demonstrates fixation strength similar to the established screw fixation and can therefore be regarded as a reasonable alternative fixation method. Especially, since some specific disadvantages of screw fixation can be prevented by application of the bolt fixation.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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