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Anterolateral Structure Reconstructions With Different Tibial Attachment Sites Similarly Improve Tibiofemoral Kinematics and Result in Different Graft Force in Treating Knee Anterolateral Instability

      Purpose

      To compare the biomechanical effects of anterolateral structure reconstructions (ALSRs) with different tibial attachments on tibiofemoral kinematics and anterolateral structure (ALS) graft forces.

      Methods

      Eight cadaveric knees were tested in a customized knee testing system, using a novel pulley system to simulate more muscle tensions by loading the iliotibial band at 30 N and quadriceps at 10 N in all testing states. Anterior stability during anterior load and anterolateral rotatory stability during 2 simulated pivot-shift tests (PST1 and PST2) were evaluated in 5 states: intact, ALS-deficient (Def), ALSR-Ta (anterior tibial site), ALSR-Tm (middle tibial site), and ALSR-Tp (posterior tibial site). Tibiofemoral kinematics and resulting ALS graft forces against the applied loads were measured and compared in the corresponding states.

      Results

      In anterior load, 3 ALSRs mitigated the anterior laxities of the ALS Def state at all degrees, which were close to intact state at 0° and 30° but showed significantly overconstraints at 60° and 90°. In both PSTs, all ALSRs significantly reduced the anterolateral rotatory instability of ALS Def, whereas the significant overconstraints were detected in ALSR-Ta and ALSR-Tm at greater knee flexion angles. All ALS grafts carried forces in resisting anterior and pivot-shift loads. Only ALS graft force in ALSR-Ta increased continuously with knee flexion angles. The ALS graft forces carried by ALSR-Ta were significantly larger than those by ALSR-Tp and ALSR-Tm when resisting anterior load and PSTs at greater knee flexion angles.

      Conclusions

      ALSRs with different tibial attachment sites similarly restored knee laxities close to the native tibiofemoral kinematics in an ALS-deficient knee, whereas the ALSR-Tp showed less propensity for overconstraining the knee at greater flexion angles. The ALS graft in ALSR-Ta carried more forces than those in ALSR-Tp and ALSR-Tm against simulated loads.

      Clinical Relevance

      Altering the tibial attachment sites of ALSRs may not significantly affect tibiofemoral kinematics at most degrees whereas the posterior may have less overconstraints at greater flexion angles. However, ALS graft positioning at a more anterior tibial attachment site may carry more forces in resisting anterior and pivot–shift loads.
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