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Am J Sports Med. 1999 Jul-Aug;27(4):469-75.

The effects of grade III posterolateral knee complex injuries on anterior cruciate ligament graft force. A biomechanical analysis.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


To determine if untreated grade III injuries of the posterolateral structures contribute to increased force on an anterior cruciate ligament graft, we measured the force in the graft in cadaveric knees during joint loading after reconstruction with otherwise intact structures and in the same reconstructed knees after selected cutting of specific posterolateral knee structures. Tests were first performed on the knee with the posterolateral structures intact and then after sequential sectioning of the fibular collateral ligament, popliteofibular ligament, and popliteus tendon. The graft force was significantly higher after fibular collateral ligament transection during varus loading at both 0 degree and 30 degrees of knee flexion than it was for the same loading of the joint with intact posterolateral structures. In addition, coupled loading of varus and internal rotation moments at 0 degree and 30 degrees of flexion further increased graft force beyond that with varus force alone. The increase in graft force remained significant with additional sequential cutting of the popliteofibular ligament and popliteus tendon. We believe this study supports the clinical observation that untreated grade III posterolateral structure injuries contribute to anterior cruciate ligament graft failure by allowing higher forces to stress the graft.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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