Anterior cruciate ligament graft tensioning. Is the maximal sustained one-handed pull technique reproducible?
Byrne, Fergus J.
Hirpara, Kieran M.
Brennan, William F.
McHugh, Peter E.
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O'Neill,B. J. ,Byrne,F. J., Hirpara, K. M., Brennan, W.F., McHugh,P.E., Curtin, W. (2011) Anterior cruciate ligament graft tensioning. Is the maximal sustained one-handed pull technique reproducible? BMC Res Notes. 4: 244.
Background Tensioning of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction grafts affects the clinical outcome of the procedure. As yet, no consensus has been reached regarding the optimum initial tension in an ACL graft. Most surgeons rely on the maximal sustained one-handed pull technique for graft tension. We aim to determine if this technique is reproducible from patient to patient. Findings We created a device to simulate ACL reconstruction surgery using Ilizarov components and porcine flexor tendons. Six experienced ACL reconstruction surgeons volunteered to tension porcine grafts using the device to see if they could produce a consistent tension. None of the surgeons involved were able to accurately reproduce graft tension over a series of repeat trials. Conclusions We conclude that the maximal sustained one-handed pull technique of ACL graft tensioning is not reproducible from trial to trial. We also conclude that the initial tension placed on an ACL graft varies from surgeon to surgeon.