Objective: To improve the rotational stability of the knee by anatomic reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament by socalled double-bundle technique using anteromedial and posterolateral grafts from native semitendinosus and gracilis. The grafts are fixed with bioabsorbable screws utilizing aperture fixation.
Indications: Complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament with positive Lachman sign and pivot shift.
Contraindications: Open growth plate. Osteoarthritis > grade 1 according to Jäger & Wirth. Age > or = 50 years with low sports activity (relative contraindication).
Surgical technique: Graft harvest of the semitendinosus and gracilis tendons via a 3-cm horizontal skin incision parallel to pes anserinus and preparation of the tendons as double-looped grafts. Arthroscopy, resection of the stump of the anterior cruciate ligament, and clearance of its origin and insertion. Tunnel placement by means of aiming devices in the following order: tibial posterolateral, tibial anteromedial, femoral anteromedial (transtibial or via the anteromedial portal in 120 degrees flexion), and femoral posterolateral (via additional medial arthroscopic portal). The anteromedial (semitendinosus tendon) and posterolateral (gracilis tendon) bundles are passed through the tunnels and fixed on the femoral side. Tibial fixation of the graft by bioresorbable interference screw with knee flexion of 45 degrees (anteromedial) and 10 degrees (posterolateral).
Postoperative management: Depending on the degree of swelling, rehabilitation with partial weight bearing for 14 days and full range of motion. Return to sports after 6 months, no contact sports until 9 months.
Results: From May 2004 to June 2005, anatomic double-bundle reconstruction was performed in 19 patients (13 male, six female, average age 31 years [18-48 years]) with isolated anterior cruciate ligament rupture without concomitant lesions. Clinical follow-up examination on average at 21.3 months (16-30 months) postoperatively. The Lysholm Score improved from an average of 65.2 to 94.5 points (75-100 points). The IKDC (International Knee Documentation Committee) Score yielded nine very good and ten good results in the relevant subgroups of motion, effusion and ligament stability. Measurement of anteroposterior translation with the KT-1000 instrument at 134 N showed increased translation of 1.8 mm (-2 to 5 mm) compared to the contralateral knee.