, Volume 470, Issue 3, pp 853-860
Date: 14 Oct 2011

Surgical Technique: Aperture Fixation in PCL Reconstruction: Applying Biomechanics to Surgery

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Abstract

Background

Biomechanical studies suggest reducing the effective graft length during transtibial posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) reconstruction by augmenting the distal tibial fixation with a proximal screw near the tibial tunnel aperture could increase graft stiffness and provide a more stable reconstruction. However, it remains unknown to what extent this mechanical theory influences in vivo graft performance over time.

Surgical Technique

We developed a technique to augment tibial distal fixation with a proximal screw near the tibial tunnel aperture to shorten the effective graft length and increase graft stiffness.

Patients and Methods

We retrospectively reviewed all 10 patients who had isolated PCL reconstructions with combined distal and proximal tibial fixation from 2003 to 2007. Mean age of the patients was 36.5 years. We measured ROM and obtained Tegner, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), and Lysholm scores. Anteroposterior stability was evaluated with a KT-2000 arthrometer. Minimum followup was 1 year (mean, 2.5 years; range, 1–4.8 years).

Results

Mean Tegner scores before injury and at last followup were 7.3 and 6.5, respectively. Mean postoperative IKDC score was 87 versus a preoperative IKDC score of 43. Mean Lysholm score was 89 at last followup. All patients achieved full terminal extension. No patient had greater than a 5-mm difference in anterior or posterior displacement from the contralateral knee as measured by a KT-2000 arthrometer postoperatively (0.93 ± 0.79 mm).

Conclusions

In this small series, augmentation of tibial distal fixation with a proximal screw near the tibial tunnel aperture during reconstruction of the isolated PCL rupture restored function, motion, and stability.

Level of Evidence

Level IV, therapeutic study. See Guidelines for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.
One or more of the authors (SKV) received financial support from the National Institutes of Health: NIH F32AR056451.
Each author certifies that his or her institution approved the human protocol for this investigation, that all investigations were conducted in conformity with ethical principles of research, and that informed consent for participation in the study was obtained.