MCL internal brace does not fully recapitulate normal MCL function in valgus stress

Marc A. Tompkins, Andrew L. Freeman, Elliot Hursh, Joan E. Bechtold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The null hypothesis is that there would be no difference in medial gapping under valgus load between the intact MCL and the ruptured MCL with an internal brace in place. Methods: Eight pairs of cadaver knees were used (16 knees). Alternating sides, one knee from each pair was used for one of two “internal brace” constructs. The constructs involved different methods of fixation for securing FiberTape (Arthrex, Naples, FL) to both the femur and tibia in an effort to brace the MCL. The knees were then subjected to valgus stress by applying 10 N m of torque with the knee at 20 degrees of flexion. The amount of medial joint space opening was measured on radiographs. The stress testing was conducted with three MCL states: intact, grade 2 tear, and grade 3 tear. Results: In the Construct I specimens, gapping increased from 0.7 mm with the MCL intact to 1.1 mm with grade 2 tearing (p < 0.01), and to 1.3 mm with grade 3 tearing (p < 0.01). In the Construct II specimens, gapping increased from 0.7 mm with the MCL intact to 1.0 mm with grade 2 tearing (p < 0.01), and to 1.1 mm with grade 3 tearing (n.s.). Construct I specimens failed primarily at the femoral attachment. All Construct II specimens survived the valgus stress testing. Conclusion: Construct I did not maintain tension. Construct II did maintain tension during application of valgus load, but did not restore valgus opening to the intact state. It is important for clinicians who are considering using this commercially available technique to be aware of how the construct performs under valgus stress testing compared to the intact MCL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3604-3610
Number of pages7
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Volume31
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s) under exclusive licence to European Society of Sports Traumatology, Knee Surgery, Arthroscopy (ESSKA).

Keywords

  • Internal brace
  • MCL
  • Valgus stress

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

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