Background: The all-inside cruciate ligament graft preparation technique has become popular due to its utility in sparing a growing physis, preserving a tendon in ACL surgery, and/or reduction of pain. However, few studies have compared graft preparation techniques to determine the ideal construct for cruciate ligament reconstruction. We sought to compare biomechanical properties of two quadrupled all-inside cruciate ligament graft preparation techniques and three alternative all-inside graft preparation techniques that may be used when the available tendon is too short to be quadrupled. Methods: Fifty porcine extensor tendons were evenly divided into five groups (n = 10) representing all-inside graft preparation techniques, including two quadrupled (Quad-A, Quad-B) and three alternative methods (Tripled, Folded, Two-Doubled). Each graft construct underwent preconditioning (10 loading cycles from 20 to 50 N at 0.1 Hz), cyclic loading (500 loading cycles from 50 to 250 N at 1.0 Hz) and load-to-failure (tension applied at 20 mm/min). Results: Quad-A and Quad-B demonstrated no significant differences in cyclic displacement (10.5 ± 0.3 vs 11.7 ± 0.4 mm; p = 0.915), cyclic stiffness (1086.2 ± 487.3 vs 460.4 ± 71.4 N/mm; p = 0.290), pullout stiffness (15.9 ± 4.3 vs 7.4 ± 4.4 N/mm; p = 0.443), ultimate failure load (641.2 ± 84.7 vs 405.9 ± 237.4 N; p = 0.672), or ultimate failure displacement (47.3 ± 6.7 vs 55.5 ± 0.7 mm; p = 0.778). The mean cyclic displacement of the Two-Doubled group was significantly greater than the Quad-A (29.7 ± 2.2 vs 10.5 ± 0.3 mm; p < 0.001), Quad-B (29.7 ± 2.2 vs 11.7 ± 0.4 mm; p < 0.001), Tripled (29.7 ± 2.2 vs 11.3 ± 0.2 mm; p < 0.001), and Folded group (29.7 ± 2.2 vs 13.3 ± 0.2 mm; p < 0.001). There were no other statistically significant differences between the three alternative all-inside graft preparation techniques. Conclusion: The current study demonstrates the biomechanical properties of two quadrupled all-inside graft constructs, Quad-A and Quad-B, are not significantly different. When the available tendon is of insufficient length, the Two-Doubled group demonstrated more than twice the cyclic displacement of all other graft preparation techniques, and is therefore not recommended for use in all-inside cruciate ligament reconstruction.
- ACL, PCL, Ligament reconstruction, Graft preparation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine