An experimental knee-testing system was used to investigate the immediate postoperative mechanical state in knees with nonaugmented and augmented repairs of the anterior cruciate ligament. Ligament, repair tissue, and augmentation forces were measured using buckle transducers, and joint motion was measured using an instrumented spatial linkage during the application of 90 N anteriorly-directed tibial loads to seven fresh knee specimens at 0-90 degrees of flexion. Force and motion data were collected from each knee with an intact and excised anterior cruciate ligament, and after performing (1) a nonaugmented repair and an augmented repair using the Ligament Augmentation Device (3M Company) placed either (2) anatomically through the lateral femoral condyle or (3) in the over-the-top position. the forces in the nonaugmented repair and the repair with the augmentation in the two positions were greater than the forces in the intact anterior cruciate ligament with the knee under the same anterior loads; this difference from normal was not significant with the over-the-top augmentation. With the augmentation anatomically placed, the load sharing did not reduce the force in the repair tissue as compared with the nonaugmented case. the over-the-top augmentation, on the other hand, lowered the repair tissue forces at extension while avoiding high repair tissue forces in flexion. the tibia was consistently in an externally rotated configuration compared with normal in both the unloaded and anterior load states with all three repair procedures.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial support was provided by grants AR38398 and AR39255 from the National Institutes of Health, and grants from the Norwegian Research Council and Norwegian Orthopedic Society. The 3M Company contributed the Ligament Augmentation Devices.