Does loop length change after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with adjustable loop cortical suspension device?: Observation of the hamstring graft completely filling the femoral tunnel

J Exp Orthop. 2023 Jul 1;10(1):67. doi: 10.1186/s40634-023-00629-5.


Purpose: The adjustable loop cortical suspension device (ALD) is a useful femoral fixation device in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions, but the possibility of loosening has been suggested. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the elongation of an adjustable loop and the position of the hamstring graft inside the femoral socket.

Methods: The subjects were 33 patients who underwent ACL reconstruction with a hamstring tendon. The graft was fixed using ALD and completely filled the femoral socket. Magnetic resonance images were taken one week and one year after the operation. The loop length, femoral socket length, and graft length inside the socket were measured and statistically compared with the clinical outcomes.

Results: The loop length one week after surgery was 18.9 ± 4.4 mm, and 1 year after surgery was 19.9 ± 4.5 mm (P < 0.001). The gap between the top of the graft and femoral socket was 0.9 ± 1.8 mm one week after surgery and 1.3 ± 1.7 mm one year after surgery (P = 0.259). At one week post-operation, a gap was found in nine patients (27.3%). The loop length and gap did not strongly correlate with clinical findings.

Conclusion: ACL reconstruction using ALD showed a gap between the graft and femoral socket at the one week post-operation mark in 27.3% of participants. One year after the surgery, there were cases where the gap increased and/or decreased, but the elongation of the loop was 1 mm on average. Our findings suggest that ALD is clinically safe to use; however, has the possibility of initial loop elongation and non-uniform changes.

Level of evidence: IV.

Keywords: Adjustable loop cortical suspension device; Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction; Femoral cortical suspension device; Soft tissue graft.