Radiographic evaluation of anterior cruciate ligament graft failure with special reference to tibial tunnel placement.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Graft failure in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction can result from anterior placement of the tibial tunnel. Conventional radiographic evaluation of this problem does not take into account potential changes in tibio-femoral relationship caused by ACL instability. A retrospective radiographic evaluation of failed as well as successful ACL reconstructions was carried out. Both published radiographs as well as those obtained of patients treated by the authors were evaluated for tibial tunnel placement, roof impingement, and tibial position relative to the femur. In the second part of the study, the radiographs were obtained under standard conditions in both failed ACL reconstructions and normal knees. The results of both parts of the study indicate that lateral radiographs of the extended knee with ACL instability are likely to show subtle anterior tibial subluxation. The subluxation can give the impression of roof impingement on the graft. However, the majority of the failed knees had similar tibial tunnel placement compared with successful reconstructions and would appear unimpinged once corrected for subluxation. The diagnosis of graft impingement by the femoral intercondylar roof has to take into account potential tibial subluxation. Impingement as a cause graft failure may be less common than previously thought.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Almekinders, LC; Chiavetta, JB; Clarke, JP

Published Date

  • March 1, 1998

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 14 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 206 - 211

PubMed ID

  • 9531134

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0749-8063

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/s0749-8063(98)70042-8


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States