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Arthroscopy. 2016 Jun;32(6):1053-62. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2016.02.017. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

The Comparative Role of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament and Anterolateral Structures in Controlling Passive Internal Rotation of the Knee: A Biomechanical Study.

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University Hospital Orthopaedic Department, Angers, France; Orthopaedic Department, North Mayenne Hospital, Mayenne, France.
Orthopaedic Department, North Mayenne Hospital, Mayenne, France; Hospital Universitario CEMIC, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Orthopaedic Department, North Mayenne Hospital, Mayenne, France.
NorthShore Orthopedic Institute, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Orthopaedic Department, North Mayenne Hospital, Mayenne, France. Electronic address:



To determine the respective functions of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and the anterolateral structures (ALSs) in controlling the tibia's passive internal rotation (IR) with respect to the femur, under uniaxial rotation.


To test the function of the ACL and the anterolateral ligament (ALL) in IR, we designed a sequential transection study of the ACL and the anterolateral structures (including the ALL) in 24 cadaveric knees divided in 2 groups. Two sequences were conducted successively: group 1 (12 knees) in which the ACL was sectioned first followed by the ALS, and group 2 (12 knees) with reversed transections. Each knee, in neutral rotation position and at flexion angle of 30°, was subjected to a 5 Nm torsion torque of IR. IR was measured using a rotatory laximeter, the Rotam with a gyroscope's measurement accuracy of 0.1°. Laxities were compared using paired t test within each group and using t test between groups. Fisher exact test was used to compare proportions.


In group 1, IR increased from 22.1° ± 10.6° to 25.7° ± 10.9° after ACL transection then to 28.1° ± 10.5° after we sectioned the ALS. In group 2, IR increased from 22.5° ± 8.9° to 25.2° ± 8.4° after sectioning the ALS, then to 29.1° ± 8.8° after we sectioned the ACL. Total postsectioning increase in IR was 6.4° ± 2° in group 1, and 6.55° ± 0.9° in group 2. The IR increase after each stage of transection and final IR were statistically significant (P < .001).


In a pure rotational cadaveric test model, the ACL and the ALS contribute to resistance to passive IR of the knee.


In some specific clinical cases, peripheral lesions may be considered, and injuries to these structures may need to be addressed to improve results controlling postoperative IR.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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