The Hybrid Transtibial Technique for Femoral Tunnel Drilling in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Finite Element Analysis Model of Graft Bending Angles and Peak Graft Stresses in Comparison With Transtibial and Anteromedial Portal Techniques

J Am Acad Orthop Surg. 2022 Sep 15;30(18):e1195-e1206. doi: 10.5435/JAAOS-D-21-00883.

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this finite element analysis was to compare femoral tunnel length; anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction graft bending angle; and peak graft stress, contact force, and contact area created by the transtibial, anteromedial portal (AMP), and hybrid transtibial techniques.

Methods: Finite element analysis modeling was used to examine anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction models based on transtibial, AMP, and hybrid transtibial femoral tunnel drilling techniques. An evaluation of femoral tunnel length, graft bending angle, peak graft stress, contact force, and contact area was done in comparison of these techniques.

Results: The femoral tunnel created with the hybrid transtibial technique was 45.3 mm, which was 13.3% longer than that achieved with the AMP technique but 15.2% shorter than that with the transtibial technique. The femoral graft bending angle with the hybrid transtibial technique (105°) was less acute than that with the AMP technique (102°), but more acute than that with the transtibial technique (109°). At 11° knee flexion, the hybrid transtibial technique had 22% less femoral contact force, 21% less tibial contact force, 21% less graft tension than the AMP technique. Yet, the hybrid transtibial technique had 41% greater femoral contact force, 39% greater tibial contact force, 33% greater graft tension, and 6% greater graft von Mises stress than the transtibial technique. A similar trend was found for the anterior knee drawer test. At both 6-mm anterior tibial displacement and 11° knee flexion, the hybrid transtibial and AMP techniques had at least 51% more femoral contact area than the transtibial technique.

Conclusion: This finite element analysis highlights that the hybrid transtibial technique is a true hybrid between the AMP and transtibial techniques for femoral tunnel drilling regarding femoral tunnel length, graft bending angle, and peak graft stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Monophosphate
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries* / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction* / methods
  • Femur / surgery
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Tibia / surgery

Substances

  • Adenosine Monophosphate