Purpose: To determine the effect of debriding the indirect insertion component of the femoral anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) attachment on tibiofemoral kinematics when compared with the intact knee.
Methods: Knee kinematics were measured in 9 cadaveric knees with the ACL intact, after indirect insertion debridement, and after ACL transection. Three loading conditions were used: (1) a 134-N anterior tibial load, (2) a combined 10-Nm valgus and 5-Nm internal tibial torque, and (3) a simulated robotic pivot shift. Anterior tibial translation (ATT) was recorded in response to anterior and combined loads at 0°, 15°, 30°, 45°, 60°, and 90° of flexion. Posterior tibial translation and external tibial rotation were recorded during the simulated pivot shift.
Results: With an anterior load, indirect insertion debridement increased ATT by 0.37 ± 0.24 mm at 0° (P = .002) and by 0.16 ± 0.19 mm at 15° (P = .033; increases <1 mm in all specimens). ACL transection increased ATT in response to an anterior load (P = .0001) with maximum effect at 15° compared with the intact and debrided states (11.26 ± 1.15 mm and 11.04 ± 1.08 mm, respectively). With a combined load, indirect insertion debridement increased ATT by 0.17 ± 0.11 mm at 0° (P = .001; increases <0.3 mm in all specimens) with no effect at other angles. ACL transection increased ATT in response to a combined load (P = .001) with maximum effect at 15° (4.45 ± 0.85 mm v ACL intact and 4.44 ± 0.84 mm v debrided indirect insertion). In the ACL intact condition, the pivot shift produced 1.29 ± 1.34 mm of posterior tibial translation and 1.54 ± 1.61° of external tibial rotation, as compared with 1.28 ± 1.34 mm and 1.54 ± 1.47°, respectively, after debridement (P = .68 and P = .99, respectively) and 12.79 ± 3.22 mm and 17.60 ± 4.30°, respectively, after ACL transection (P = .0001).
Conclusions: The indirect femoral ACL insertion contributes minimally to restraint of tibial translation and rotation.
Clinical relevance: Femoral tunnel positioning for anatomic ACL reconstruction should aim to recreate the biomechanically significant direct insertion.
Copyright © 2014 Arthroscopy Association of North America. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.