Preoperative MRI predicts eligibility for arthroscopic primary ACL repair

ACL-tear-tipe-II

Preoperative magnetic resonance imaging predicts eligibility for arthroscopic primary anterior cruciate ligament repair, by van der List and DiFelice, KSSTA (2018), 26(2):660–671

Abstract:

Purpose
To assess the role of preoperative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on the eligibility for arthroscopic primary anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repair.

Methods
All patients undergoing ACL surgery between 2008 and 2017 were included. Patients underwent arthroscopic primary repair if sufficient tissue length and quality were present, or they underwent single-bundle ACL reconstruction. Preoperative MRI tear locations were graded with the modified Sherman classification: type I (>90% distal remnant length), type II (75–90%), or type III (25–75%). MRI tissue quality was graded as good, fair, or poor. Arthroscopy videos were reviewed for tissue length and quality, and final treatment.

Results
Sixty-three repair patients and 67 reconstruction patients were included. Repair patients had more often type I tears (41 vs. 4%, p < 0.001) and good tissue quality (89 vs. 12%, p < 0.001). Preoperative MRI tear location and tissue quality predicted eligibility for primary repair: 90% of all type I tears and 88% of type II tears with good tissue quality were repaired, while only 23% of type II tears with fair tissue quality, 0% of type II tears with poor tissue quality, and 14% of all type III tears could be repaired. Conclusions This study showed that tear location and tissue quality on preoperative MRI can predict eligibility for arthroscopic primary ACL repair. These findings may guide the orthopaedic surgeon on the preoperative assessment for arthroscopic primary repair of proximal ACL tears. Level of evidence Level IV.

ACL-tear-MRI-repair-flowchart
Flowchart, based on preoperative MRI tear location and tissue quality, shows the percentage of patients that were repaired per tear location and tissue quality

3D graft-bending angle measurement and finite-element analysis

3D-FEM-ACL-graft

Peak stresses shift from femoral tunnel aperture to tibial tunnel aperture in lateral tibial tunnel ACL reconstructions: a 3D graft-bending angle measurement and finite-element analysis, by Van Der Bracht et al. KSSTA (2018) 26(2): 508–517.

Abstract:

Purpose
To investigate the effect of tibial tunnel orientation on graft-bending angle and stress distribution in the ACL graft.

Methods
Eight cadaveric knees were scanned in extension, 45°, 90°, and full flexion. 3D reconstructions with anatomically placed anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) grafts were constructed with Mimics 14.12®. 3D graft-bending angles were measured for classic medial tibial tunnels (MTT) and lateral tibial tunnels (LTT) with different drill-guide angles (DGA) (45°, 55°, 65°, and 75°). A pivot shift was performed on 1 knee in a finite-element analysis. The peak stresses in the graft were calculated for eight different tibial tunnel orientations.

Results
In a classic anatomical ACL repair, the largest graft-bending angle and peak stresses are seen at the femoral tunnel aperture. The use of a different DGA at the tibial side does not change the graft-bending angle at the femoral side or magnitude of peak stresses significantly. When using LTT, the largest graft-bending angles and peak stresses are seen at the tibial tunnel aperture.

Conclusion
In a classic anatomical ACL repair, peak stresses in the ACL graft are found at the femoral tunnel aperture. When an LTT is used, peak stresses are similar compared to classic ACL repairs, but the location of the peak stress will shift from the femoral tunnel aperture towards the tibial tunnel aperture. Clinical relevance: the risk of graft rupture is similar for both MTTs and LTTs, but the location of graft rupture changes from the femoral tunnel aperture towards the tibial tunnel aperture, respectively.