Comparison of a double bundle arthroscopic inlay and open inlay posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using clinically relevant tools: a cadaveric study

Arthroscopy. 2008 Apr;24(4):472-80. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2007.09.012. Epub 2008 Jan 7.


Purpose: The ideal surgical management of isolated and combined posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) injuries is controversial. One active debate concerns the advantages of an open tibial inlay technique versus an arthroscopic transtibial tunnel technique. Therefore, the goal of this study is to biomechanically compare arthroscopic and open double-bundle PCL tibial inlay procedure with and without posterolateral corner (PLC) deficiency.

Methods: Ten matched pairs of cadaveric knees were randomly assigned to undergo PCL sectioning and reconstruction using either the open inlay or arthroscopic inlay approach. Clinical testing consisted of posterior drawer, TELOS stress testing, and dial testing at both 30 degrees and 90 degrees . The knee conditions tested were intact, after PCL sectioning, after PLC release, and following PCL reconstruction, with and without the PLC repair. Both 1-way repeated measures and 2-way mixed design analyses of variance were used to determine differences between the knee conditions, with significance set at P < .05.

Results: After PCL and PLC reconstruction, 10 of 10 open specimens and 9 of 10 arthroscopic specimens were a grade 0 posterior drawer. The remaining arthroscopic specimen was grade I. The average radiographic posterior displacement for arthroscopic and open reconstructions (PCL+/PLC+) was 3.9 and 2.7 mm, respectively, with no significant difference. However, if the PLC was deficient (PCL+/PLC-), the translation for arthroscopic and open specimens increased to 8.5 and 6.5 mm, respectively, and was statistically different from the intact state but not from each other. At 30 degrees of knee flexion, both the open and arthroscopic specimen averaged 8.4 degrees of external rotation. At 90 degrees of knee flexion, the external rotation measurements increased to 9.6 degrees and 9.3 degrees in the arthroscopic and open groups, respectively. Additionally, there was no significant difference in external rotation between intact and reconstructed knees with either group.

Conclusions: The arthroscopic method of double-bundle inlay PCL reconstruction provides comparable stability to the open inlay using clinically relevant measurement tools both in the PLC intact or deficient state.

Clinical relevance: This novel arthroscopic double-bundle PCL inlay reconstruction provides comparable stability to the open approach with a potential for lower operative morbidity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroscopy / methods*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cadaver
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament / diagnostic imaging
  • Posterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Probability
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Prosthesis Design
  • Radiography
  • Random Allocation
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / instrumentation
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Stress, Mechanical