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Modified Lemaire Lateral Extra-articular Tenodesis With the Iliotibial Band Strip Fixed on the Femoral Cortical Surface Reduces Laxity and Causes Less Overconstraint in the Anterolateral Lesioned Knee: A Biomechanical Study

      Purpose

      To compare the biomechanical effects of femoral cortical surface fixation and intra-tunnel fixation in modified Lemaire tenodesis on the restoration of native kinematics in anterolateral structure–deficient knees.

      Methods

      Eight fresh-frozen cadaveric knees were mounted in a knee-customized jig to evaluate anterior translation in anterior load and internal rotation degree in internal rotation torque at 0°, 30°, 60°, and 90°, as well as anterolateral translation (ALT) in a simulated pivot-shift test at 0°, 15°, 30°, and 45°. Kinematic tests were performed in the following states: intact; anterolateral knee lesion (AL-Les); modified Lemaire lateral extra-articular tenodesis (LET) with the femoral iliotibial band (ITB) strip fixed on the cortical surface (cortical fixation), deep to the lateral collateral ligament (LCL) (deep LET-C); and LET with the femoral ITB strip fixed into a tunnel (intra-tunnel fixation), deep to the LCL (deep LET-IT) or superficial to the LCL (superficial LET-IT). The knee kinematic changes in the AL-Les state and the 3 LET states were compared with each other, with the intact state as the baseline.

      Results

      In the AL-Les state, the increased anterior translation instabilities were significantly mitigated by the 3 LETs at 30°, 60°, and 90° (all P < .001), with overconstraint observed in both the deep LET-IT and superficial LET-IT states at 60° (P = .047 and P < .001, respectively) and 90° (both P < .001). Similarly, the 3 LETs significantly reduced the internal rotation instabilities in the AL-Les state at all flexion angles. The superficial LET-IT state overconstrained the knee at 60° (P = .009) and 90° (P < .001) during internal rotation torque, and the deep LET-IT state did so at 60° (P = .012). Furthermore, the ALT instabilities found in the AL-Les state were significantly reduced by the 3 LETs during the simulated pivot-shift test. At 30° and 45°, these LET states resulted in overconstraint when compared with the intact state, but the superficial LET-IT state (P < .001) or deep LET-IT state (P = .016) presented a larger overconstraint than that in the deep LET-C at 45°, respectively.

      Conclusions

      The 3 Lemaire LET procedures evaluated reduced the anterior, internal rotational, and ALT laxities in AL-Les knees and restored these parameters to the native baseline of the intact state at most flexion angles. However, in deep flexion, some overconstraint occurred in all LETs when compared with the intact state, of which the deep LET-C state resulted in less overconstraint in anterior translation and internal rotation than the deep LET-IT and superficial LET-IT states.

      Clinical Relevance

      This biomechanical study supports using the femoral cortical fixation technique to fix the ITB strip in the modified Lemaire LET, which similarly improves knee kinematic stability and causes less overconstraint compared with conventional intra-tunnel fixation. These findings need more verification in clinical scenarios.
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