The impact of tensioning device mal-positioning on strand tension during anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Rajesh Maharjan, John Costi, Richard Stanley, David Martin, Trevor Hearn, John Field

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    Abstract

    Background: In order to confer optimal strength and stiffness to the graft in Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction, the maintenance of equal strand tension prior to fixation, is desired; positioning of the tensioning device can significantly affect strand tension This study aimed to determine the effect of tensioning device mal-positioning on individual strand tension in simulated cadaveric ACL reconstructions.Methods: Twenty cadaveric specimens, comprising bovine tibia and tendon harvested from sheep, were used to simulate ACL reconstruction with a looped four-strand tendon graft. A proprietary tensioning device was used to tension the graft during tibial component fixation with graft tension recorded using load cells. The effects of the tensioning device at extreme angles, and in various locking states, was evaluated.Results: Strand tension varied significantly when the tensioning device was held at extreme angles (p < 0.001) or in 'locked' configurations of the tensioning device (p < 0.046). Tendon position also produced significant effects (p < 0.016) on the resultant strand tension.Conclusion: An even distribution of tension among individual graft strands is obtained by maintaining the tensioning device in an unlocked state, aligned with the longitudinal axis of the tibial tunnel. If the maintenance of equal strand tension during tibial fixation of grafts is important, close attention must be paid to positioning of the tensioning device in order to optimize the resultant graft tension and, by implication, the strength and stiffness of the graft and ultimately, surgical outcome.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number33
    Pages (from-to)33
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery and Research
    Volume6
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

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