Along with increasing enthusiasm for sports comes an increase of sport related injuries. One of the most common injuries in the human knee is the tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The selection of a graft fixation device is an important factor that determines the outcome of an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Before the healing process is completed, the graft is dependent on tibial and femoral fixation devices to maintain normal ACL graft tension. Among various devices, the use of an adjustable loop suspensory fixation device (ALD) in soft-tissue graft reconstruction attracts current interest. An advantage of the ALD is the ability to draw the graft to the depth of the bone tunnel to achieve adequate graft tension while minimizing the empty space in the tunnel. In this study a comprehensive controlled laboratory investigation is performed to examine the biomechanical properties of commonly used cortical fixation devices, with the aim of implementing a standard testing procedure for adjustable loop devices. The procedure consists of three test series, a loop shortening test and two different stability test series (singe device and tendon device test). Those test series are used to compare the performance of a new ALD from Arthrex (Naples, USA) with five competitor devices already on the market. In order to obtain representative results eight samples of each device are tested. In comparison to the previously performed studies, a complete unloading is applied in the stability tests, which allows for a detailed examination of the ALDs locking mechanisms in dynamically loaded test situations. Furthermore, the performed loop shortening tests reveal important aspects, such as the shortening accuracy and settling effects of the loops, that are not found in previous studies. Therefore, the used test protocol can be recommended for further testing.
© 2019 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston
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