It has been hypothesized that lead affects the mechanical properties of an anterior cruciate ligament graft while it remodels. The goal of this study was to use an existing goat model to evaluate the effect of intraoperative set force on the postoperative mechanical properties of an autograft that had been augmented with a synthetic segment. The following questions were addressed. Do augmented autografts set with a high force intraoperatively have improved structural and material graft properties and lower anterior posterior knee laxity at 3 months after surgery, compared with autografts set with a low intraoperative force? How do the structural and material properties of these implanted autografts compare with the mechanical properties of an intact anterior cruciate ligament or an unimplanted control autograft? The anterior cruciate ligament was reconstructed in seven goats with use of a composite graft consisting of a bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft and a synthetic augmentation device. A force-setting technique was used intraoperatively to establish the load-sharing between the autograft and augmentation segments such that the autograft carried either a high (16.5 N in four animals) or low (1.5 N in three animals) level of force, while the total force in the composite graft remained constant. Tensile testing was performed at 3 months after surgery to determine the material and structural properties of the autograft, the intact anterior cruciate ligament from the normal contralateral knee, and a control bone-patellar tendon-bone graft of similar size that was harvested from the contralateral knee at the time of necropsy and had never been implanted in the joint. The structural and material properties of the autografts initially set to high or low loads at surgery were not significantly different after 3 months of implantation. The strength and stiffness of the implanted tendons were an average of 24 and 20% of the strength and stiffness of the normal anterior cruciate ligament and 31 and 62% of the control tendons, respectively. Intraoperative set force in an augmented anterior cruciate ligament graft at the levels chosen in this study did not significantly affect weakening of the autograft at 3 months.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Orthopaedic Research|
|State||Published - Mar 1996|