Purpose: Because tibial fixation of soft-tissue grafts in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is problematic, this study aimed to develop a means of delivering bone graft evenly around tendon autograft and define any mechanical, radiologic, or histologic benefit using an ovine model. Methods: A device to deliver bone graft evenly throughout the tibial tunnel was developed. Forty mature sheep underwent simulated quadruple hamstring tendon-ACL reconstruction by use of a bioresorbable interference screw, either with or without bone graft augmentation of the tibial tunnel. Endpoint data were derived at time 0 and after 6 weeks in vivo. Radiostereometric analysis provided quantitation of the translational characteristics; computed tomography evaluated tunnel volume, and measures of yield strength and stiffness were obtained. Sequential fluorochrome administration assessed bone formation, and light microscopy surveyed the biological response. Results: Radiostereometric analysis highlighted differences in the translational characteristics of ACL-deficient knees when compared with intact knees. Reconstructed knees (with or without autograft) showed significantly greater translation when compared with unoperated knees at 6 weeks; autograft bone augmentation provided no benefit. Neither tunnel volume nor yield strength nor stiffness was improved with the addition of autograft bone. No untoward histologic responses were observed. Bone apposition rates were similar between treatment groups. An even distribution of bone graft throughout the tunnels was observed. Conclusions: This model has confirmed the ability of the bone graft-delivery system to evenly distribute bone graft throughout the tunnels. However, the study has failed to show improvement in stability or fixation strength after augmentation with autograft bone. Clinical Relevance: The autograft bone-delivery system may provide a means of establishing an osteoconductive/inductive environment. At this early juncture (6 weeks), no benefit could be defined. Its use in combination with bone morphogenetic proteins or stem cells may provide more rapid fixation, rehabilitation, and reconstitution of bone volume within the tunnel.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Arthroscopy-The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery|
|Publication status||Published - 2010|