Static rotational knee laxity in anterior cruciate ligament injuries

  • Caroline MoutonEmail author
  • Daniel Theisen
  • Dietrich Pape
  • Christian Nührenbörger
  • Romain Seil



The purpose was to provide an overview of the non-invasive devices measuring static rotational knee laxity in order to formulate recommendations for the future.


Early cadaver studies provided evidence that sectioning the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) led to an increase of static rotational knee laxity of approximately 10–20% between full extension and 30° of knee flexion. Sections of the menisci or of the peripheral structures induced a much higher increase in rotation. This supported the hypothesis that static rotation measurements might be useful for the diagnosis of ACL or associated injuries. In vivo evaluations with measurement devices are relatively new. Several articles were published during the last decade with many different devices and important differences were seen in absolute rotational knee laxity between them. This was due to the varying precision of the devices, the variability in patient positioning, the different methods of measurement, examination protocols and data analysis. As a consequence, comparison of the available results should be performed with caution. Nevertheless, it has been established that rotational knee laxity was greater in females as compared to males and that the inter-subject variability was high. For this reason, it will probably be difficult to categorise injured patients preoperatively, and the interpretation of the results should probably be limited to side-to-side differences.


Future studies will show whether rotational laxity measurements alone will be sufficient to provide clinically relevant data or if they should be combined to static sagittal laxity measurements.


Knee joint Measuring device Instrumented Laxity Tibiofemoral rotation Anterior cruciate ligament 



The present project is supported by the National Research Fund, Luxembourg.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Caroline Mouton
    • 1
    Email author
  • Daniel Theisen
    • 1
  • Dietrich Pape
    • 2
  • Christian Nührenbörger
    • 2
  • Romain Seil
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Sports Medicine Research LaboratoryPublic Research Center for HealthLuxembourgLuxembourg
  2. 2.Department of Orthopedic SurgeryCentre-Hospitalier—Clinique d’EichLuxembourgLuxembourg

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