Adjustable Loop Femoral Cortical Suspension Devices for Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Systematic Review

  • Sarvpreet Singh
  • Shalin ShaunakEmail author
  • Sebastian C. K. Shaw
  • John L. Anderson
  • Vipul Mandalia
Review Article



Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury is a common sports injury. Symptomatic knee instability after this injury is usually treated operatively through ACL reconstruction. The surgery involves a tendon graft being fixed in bony tunnels drilled through femur and tibia. The fixation of the graft is of critical importance to achieving good results. One of the commonest devices used to fix the graft in the femoral bony tunnel is a fixed loop cortical suspensory device. More recently, adjustable loop cortical suspension devices have been introduced, and have gained popularity for ACL reconstruction. These allow for adjusting the length of the suspension loop after insertion. There is currently much debate concerning whether the adjustable loop devices are superior or inferior to the fixed loop devices.


To critique and review the current biomechanical and clinical evidence on the use of adjustable loop devices in hamstring ACL reconstruction. To our knowledge, there have been no previous reviews of this topic.

Study Design

Systematic review.


This systematic review was conducted in accordance with PRISMA. Five databases were searched using multiple search terms and MeSH terms where possible. The following limits were applied: papers published in English and papers published in the last 21 years.


Eleven laboratory and six clinical studies were reviewed. The laboratory-based studies have frequently shown elongation of adjustable loop devices to more than 3 mm under loading protocols, whereas the clinical studies have not shown any significant differences between the patients with fixed loop and the ones with adjustable loop devices.

Clinical Significance

This review shows a discrepancy between laboratory-based and clinical studies. The review of clinical studies in our paper would give future researchers confidence and act as a prompt to construct randomised clinical trials to investigate these devices further.


We feel that more robust clinical randomised studies and trials are needed to evaluate these new devices.


Anterior cruciate ligament Adjustable loop femoral cortical suspensory devices Fixed loop femoral cortical suspensory devices ACL reconstruction Rehabilitation 



We would like to acknowledge Miss. Aalya Al-Assaf for her invaluable suggestions to improve the structure of the manuscript; and Mrs. Mary Smith, Miss. Ruth Compton, and Mrs. Cate Newell, the library staff at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for sourcing the full text articles.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors report no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Indian Orthopaedics Association 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarvpreet Singh
    • 1
  • Shalin Shaunak
    • 2
    Email author
  • Sebastian C. K. Shaw
    • 3
  • John L. Anderson
    • 4
  • Vipul Mandalia
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Trauma and OrthopaedicsNorth West Anglia NHS Foundation TrustCambridgeshireUK
  2. 2.East Sussex Healthcare NHS TrustEast SussexUK
  3. 3.Department of Medical EducationBrighton and Sussex Medical SchoolBrightonUK
  4. 4.Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation TrustWest SussexUK

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