Maintenance of set force in anterior cruciate ligament grafts

Nathaniel J. Stewart, Lars Engebretsen, Jack L Lewis, Conrad Lindquist, William D. Lew

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16 Scopus citations


This study was undertaken to determine how accurately total graft force and load‐sharing between graft segments could be set and maintained during augmented anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in the goat knee. Special procedures were developed to reduce the effect of tissue creep and to overcome difficulties in the setting of graft force. Five knees from goat cadavers were reconstructed using a bone‐tendon‐bone graft (PT) and a synthetic augmentation device (LAD). Prescribed levels of total graft force and load‐sharing between the autograft and LAD were set under a standardized external joint load. Immediately after fixation, the set force declined an average of 9 and 3% in the LAD and PT, respectively. After three subsequent exercise sequences, the set forces fell from their initial level by an average of 25% for the LAD and 28% for the PT. An analysis of variance did not show the loss of force with exercise to be statistically significant. We conclude from this in vitro study that our method can be used to set forces in an ACL reconstruction with reasonable maintenance of load‐sharing but that losses of approximately 30% of total graft force after exercise of the reconstructed joint are to be expected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993


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