, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 372-376
Date: 20 Oct 2005

Comparison of volumetric bone mineral density in the tibial region of interest for ACL reconstruction

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Adequate tibial bone mineral density (BMD) is essential to soft tissue graft fixation during anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. The purpose of this study was to compare volumetric bone plug density measurements at the tibial region of interest for ACL reconstruction using a standardized immersion technique and Archimedes’ principle. Cancellous bone cores were harvested from the proximal, middle, and distal metaphyseal regions of the lateral tibia and from the standard tibial tunnel location used for ACL reconstruction of 18 cadaveric specimens. Proximal tibial cores displayed 32.6% greater BMD than middle tibial cores and 31.8% greater BMD than distal tibial cores, but did not differ from the BMD of the tibial tunnel cores. Correlational analysis confirmed that the cancellous BMD in the tibial tunnel related to the cancellous BMD of the proximal and distal lateral tibial metaphysis. In conjunction with its adjacent cortical bone, the cancellous BMD of the region used for standard tibial tunnel placement provides an effective foundation for ACL graft fixation. In tibia with poor BMD, bicortical fixation that incorporates cortical bone from the distal tibial tunnel region is recommended.