Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) fixation using a bioabsorbable interference screw (BIS) and a supplemental low-profile suture anchor (PushLock 4.5-mm polyetheretherketone anchor; Arthrex, Naples, FL) with a standard BIS fixation to determine if fixation methods were dependent on tibial bone mineral density (BMD).
Methods: Ten matched pairs of fresh-frozen human female knee specimens (20 total) were harvested with specimen ages ranging from 40 to 65 years. The BMD for each specimen was determined with a dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scanner. The specimens were divided into 2 groups, 1 with a BIS and the other with a BIS plus a PushLock. Tibial-sided ACL fixation with hamstring tendon grafts was performed on all the specimens. Then, load to failure and stiffness were biomechanically tested.
Results: The BIS-plus-PushLock specimens had a significantly higher mean yield load compared with specimens with the BIS alone (702 N v 517 N, P = .047). However, in samples with lower bone density, there was no statistically significant difference in failure loads between fixation techniques (P = .8566 at BMD of 0.5 g/cm(2)). As the bone density of the samples increased, the failure loads increased for both techniques (P < .0001 for PushLock and P = .0057 for BIS). This BMD-associated increase was greater for the PushLock (P = .0148), resulting in a statistically significant difference in failure load at the upper range tested (P = .0293 at BMD of 0.9 g/cm(2)).
Conclusions: Supplemental fixation of ACL reconstructions with a PushLock is beneficial in persons with a normal BMD of the proximal tibia, but at a lower BMD, there was no difference in our study.
Clinical relevance: Individuals with normal BMDs may benefit from this supplemental fixation. However, caution should be used in postmenopausal women or individuals with chronic ACL injuries when using this fixation strategy.
Copyright © 2013 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.