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Biomechanical study of ACL reconstruction grafts

  • Pailhé, Régis
  • Cavaignac, Étienne
  • Murgier, Jérôme
  • Laffosse, Jean-Michel
  • Swider, Pascal
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2015
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There are no published studies describing the strength quadrupled gracilis tendon alone and quadrupled semitendinosus tendon alone in the configuration used for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. The primary objective was to compare the mechanical properties of grafts used for ACL reconstruction during a tensile failure test. The secondary objective was to evaluate the effect of uniform suturing on graft strength. Fifteen pairs of knees were used. The mechanical properties of five types of ACL grafts were evaluated: patellar tendon (PT), sutured patellar tendon (sPT), both hamstring tendons (GST4), quadrupled semitendinosus (ST4), and quadrupled gracilis (G4). Validated methods were used to perform the tensile tests to failure and to record the results. Student's t-test was used to compare the various samples. The maximum load to failure was 630.8N (± 239.1) for the ST4, 473.5N (± 176.9) for the GST4, 413.3N (± 120.4) for the sPT, and 416.4N (± 187.7) for the G4 construct. Only the ST4 had a significantly higher failure load than the other grafts. The sPT had a higher failure load than the PT. The ST4 construct had the highest maximum load to failure of all the ACL graft types in the testing performed here. Uniform suturing of the grafts improved their ability to withstand tensile loading.

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