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Comparative Study
, 13 (2), 92-100

The Effect of Femoral Attachment Location on Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: Graft Tension Patterns and Restoration of Normal Anterior-Posterior Laxity Patterns

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Comparative Study

The Effect of Femoral Attachment Location on Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: Graft Tension Patterns and Restoration of Normal Anterior-Posterior Laxity Patterns

T Dionyssios Zavras et al. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc.

Abstract

The issue of the best place to attach an anterior cruciate ligament graft to the femur is controversial, and different anatomic or isometric points have been recommended. It was hypothesised that one attachment site could be identified that would be best for restoring normal anterior-posterior laxity throughout the range of knee flexion. It was also hypothesised that these different attachment sites would cause different graft tension patterns during knee flexion. Using six cadaver knees, an isometric point was found 3 mm distal to the posterior edge of Blumensaat's line, at the 10:30-11:00 o'clock position in right knees, at the antero-proximal edge of the anatomic ACL attachment. Anterior-posterior laxity was measured at +/-150 N draw force at 20-120 degrees flexion with the knee intact and after anterior cruciate ligament transection. The graft was placed at the isometric point, and AP laxity was restored to normal at 20 degrees flexion, then measured at other angles. Graft tension was measured throughout, and also during passive flexion-extension. This was repeated for four other graft positions around the isometric point in every knee. Laxity was restored best by grafts tensioned to a mean of 9 +/- 14 N, positioned isometrically and 3 mm posterior to the isometric point. Their tension remained low until terminal extension. Grafts 3 mm anterior to the isometric point caused significant overconstraint, and had higher tension beyond 80 degrees knee flexion. Small changes in attachment site had large effects on laxity and tension patterns. These results support an isometric/posterior anatomic femoral graft attachment, which restored knee laxity to normal from 20 to 120 degrees flexion and did not induce high graft tension as the knee flexed. Grafts attached to the roof of the intercondylar notch caused overconstraint and higher tension in the flexed knee.

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