Is the native ACL insertion site “completely restored” using an individualized approach to single-bundle ACL-R?
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The goal of individualized anatomic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL-R) is to reproduce each patient’s native insertion site as closely as possible. The amount of the native insertion site that is recreated by the tunnel aperture area is currently unknown, as are the implications of the degree of coverage. As such, the goals of this study are to determine whether individualized anatomic ACL-R techniques can maximally fill the native insertion site and to attempt to establish a crude measure to evaluate the percentage of reconstructed area as a first step towards elucidating the implications of complete footprint restoration.
This is a prospective pilot study of 45 patients who underwent primary single-bundle anatomic ACL-R from May 2011 to April 2012. Length and width of the native insertion site were measured intraoperatively. Using published guidelines, reconstruction technique and graft choice were determined to maximize the percentage of reconstructed area. Native femoral and tibial insertion site area and femoral tunnel aperture area were calculated using the formula for area of an ellipse. On the tibial side, tunnel aperture area was calculated with respect to drill diameter and drill guide angle. Percentage of reconstructed area was calculated by dividing total tunnel aperture area by the native insertion site area.
The mean areas for the native femoral and tibial insertion sites were 83 ± 20 and 125 ± 20 mm2, respectively. The mean tunnel aperture area for the femoral side was 65 ± 17, and 86 ± 17 mm2 for the tibial tunnel aperture area. On average, percentage of reconstructed area was 79 ± 13 % for the femoral side, and 70 ± 12 % for the tibial side.
Anatomic ACL-R does not restore the native insertion site in its entirety. Percentage of reconstructed area serves as a rudimentary tool for evaluating the degree of native insertion site coverage using current individualized anatomic techniques and provides a starting point from which to evaluate the clinical significance of complete footprint restoration.
Level of evidence
KeywordsPercentage of reconstructed area Anatomic ACL reconstruction
We would like to acknowledge Sebastian Kopf, MD, Alicia Oodsky, and Abhiram Gande for their assistance in this research project.