Direct Visualization of Existing Footprint and Outside-In Drilling of the Femoral Tunnel in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in the Knee

Arthrosc Tech. 2015 Mar 9;4(2):e107-13. doi: 10.1016/j.eats.2014.11.017. eCollection 2015 Apr.


Improper femoral tunnel placement in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is a significant problem and may be a cause of ACL graft failure and abnormal kinematics, which may lead to late degenerative changes after reconstruction. Recently, there has been concern that the transtibial approach may contribute to nonanatomic placement of the femoral tunnel, resulting in abnormal knee kinematics. Tibial-independent techniques can provide more anatomic placement of the ACL graft, but these can be technically demanding. This technical note describes the senior author's technique to directly identify the femoral ACL remnant and use the center of the femoral ACL footprint and retrograde drilling to create an anatomic femoral socket for single-bundle reconstruction. This technique provides femoral tunnel placement based on identification of a patient-specific ACL footprint instead of averaged anatomic measurements from large groups. This technique has been shown to produce anatomic ACL graft position and orientation and restore more normal knee kinematics.