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Am J Sports Med. 1987 May-Jun;15(3):225-9.

A biomechanical comparison of different surgical techniques of graft fixation in anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Abstract

Different surgical methods of graft fixation in ACL reconstruction were examined to determine the effects on mechanical properties of the reconstructed ACL. Ten human cadavers were used in this study. Six different types of grafts were studied. The tendon grafts were removed from each cadaver and fixed to femurs and tibias as ACL substitutes with different surgical fixation methods, leaving femur-reconstructed graft-tibia preparations. The surgical techniques used were staple fixation, tying sutures over buttons, and screw fixation. In the latter, the screws were introduced through femoral and tibial drill holes from the outside in order to achieve interference fit as described by Lambert. Tensile testing demonstrated that the original ACL is significantly stronger than the graft used for reconstruction in linear load, stiffness, and maximum tensile strength. All of the failures of the reconstructed ACL grafts occurred at the fixation site, indicating that the mechanically weak link of the reconstructed graft is located at the fixation site. Among the different methods of fixation, one-third of the patellar tendon secured with a cancellous screw, especially with a custom designed large diameter screw, showed significantly higher values. Although many other factors affect the success of ACL reconstruction, our study indicates that the method of surgical fixation is the major factor influencing the graft's mechanical properties in the immediate postoperative period.

PMID:
3303979
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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