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Lower anatomical femoral ACL tunnel can be created in the large volume of femoral intercondylar notch

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlation between femoral intercondylar notch volume and the characteristics of femoral tunnels in anatomical single bundle anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.

Methods

Fifty-one subjects (24 male and 27 female: median age 27: range 15–49), were included in this study. Anatomical single bundle ACL reconstruction was performed in all subjects using a trans-portal technique. Femoral tunnel length was measured intra-operatively. Three-dimensional computed tomography (3D-CT) was taken at pre and post-surgery. The intercondylar notch volume was calculated with a truncated-pyramid shape simulation using the pre-operative 3D-CT image. In the post-operative 3D-CT, the modified quadrant method was used to measure femoral ACL tunnel placement.

Results

Femoral tunnel placement was 47.6 ± 10.5% in the high-low (proximal–distal) direction, and 22.6 ± 5.4% in the shallow-deep (anterior–posterior) direction. Femoral tunnel length was 35.3 ± 4.4 cm. Femoral intercondylar notch volume was 8.6 ± 2.1cm3. A significant correlation was found between femoral intercondylar notch volume and high-low (proximal–distal) femoral tunnel placement (Pearson’s coefficient correlation: 0.469, p = 0.003).

Conclusion

Femoral ACL tunnel placement at a significantly lower level was found in knees with large femoral intercondylar notch volume in the trans-portal technique. For the clinical relevance, although the sample size of this study was limited, surgeons can create femoral ACL tunnel low (distal) in the notch where close to the anatomical ACL footprint in the knees with large femoral intercondylar notch volume.

Level of evidence

III.

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Abbreviations

ACL:

Anterior cruciate ligament

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank Professor Freddie H. Fu for a lifetime of guidance and leadership in this field. The authors pray for the repose of his soul. May he rest in peace.

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Correspondence to Takanori Iriuchishima.

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No conflict of interest was existed on this study.

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This study was approved by the ethics committee.

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Iriuchishima, T., Goto, B. Lower anatomical femoral ACL tunnel can be created in the large volume of femoral intercondylar notch. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 30, 3322–3327 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-022-06921-8

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Keywords

  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Femoral intercondylar notch
  • Volume
  • Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction