In vivo attachment site to attachment site length and strain of the ACL and its bundles during the full gait cycle measured by MRI and high-speed biplanar radiography.
The purpose of this study was to measure in vivo attachment site to attachment site lengths and strains of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and its bundles throughout a full cycle of treadmill gait. To obtain these measurements, models of the femur, tibia, and associated ACL attachment sites were created from magnetic resonance (MR) images in 10 healthy subjects. ACL attachment sites were subdivided into anteromedial (AM) and posterolateral (PL) bundles. High-speed biplanar radiographs were obtained as subjects ambulated at 1 m/s. The bone models were registered to the radiographs, thereby reproducing the in vivo positions of the bones and ACL attachment sites throughout gait. The lengths of the ACL and both bundles were estimated as straight line distances between attachment sites for each knee position. Increased attachment to attachment ACL length and strain were observed during midstance (length = 28.5 ± 2.6 mm, strain = 5 ± 4%, mean ± standard deviation), and heel strike (length = 30.5 ± 3.0 mm, strain = 12 ± 5%) when the knee was positioned at low flexion angles. Significant inverse correlations were observed between mean attachment to attachment ACL lengths and flexion (rho = -0.87, p < 0.001), as well as both bundle lengths and flexion (rho = -0.86, p < 0.001 and rho = -0.82, p < 0.001, respectively). AM and PL bundle attachment to attachment lengths were highly correlated throughout treadmill gait (rho = 0.90, p < 0.001). These data can provide valuable information to inform design criteria for ACL grafts used in reconstructive surgery, and may be useful in the design of rehabilitation and injury prevention protocols.
Englander, ZA; Garrett, WE; Spritzer, CE; DeFrate, LE
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