Bone tunnel enlargement after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with the hamstring autograft and endobutton fixation technique A clinical, radiographic and magnetic resonance imaging study with 2 years follow-up
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The aim of this study was to describe the contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearance of bone tunnel enlargement detected on radiography after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with semitendinosus and gracilis tendon endobutton (STG-endobutton) fixation technique. Fourteen patients with a STG-endobutton ACL reconstruction were examined 3 months (n = 1), 1 year (n = 1) and 2 years (n = 12) postoperatively. An age- and sex-matched group with a bone–patellar tendon–bone (BTB) autograft ACL reconstruction with similar follow-up was taken as control. Data on clinical examination, laxity and isokinetic muscle torque measurements, anteroposterior and lateral view radiography were obtained, and knee scores (Lysholm and Tegner) were collected. Contrast-enhanced MRI was performed in the STG-endobutton group with a 1.5-T imager. There were no statistical differences between the groups with respect to clinical findings, stability tests, or knee scores. In the STG-endobutton group the average femoral and tibial bone tunnel diameter detected on anteroposterior view radiography had increased at 2-year follow-up by 33% and 23%, respectively. On MRI the ligamentous graft itself was not enhanced by the contrast medium whereas periligamentous tissue within and around the STG graft bundles showed mild contrast enhancement. In conclusion, the MRI results suggest that enhancing periligamentous tissue accumulated in and around the STG graft associated with the tunnel expansion. In spite of the significant bone tunnel enlargement observed on the follow-up radiography the STG-endobutton knees were stable and the patients satisfied.
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