The effect of length on the structural properties of an Achilles tendon graft as used in posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
BACKGROUND: The clinical outcomes of posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction are varied. No previous studies have investigated the effect of graft length on the structural properties of the graft. HYPOTHESIS: Graft length significantly affects the structural properties of posterior cruciate ligament grafts. STUDY DESIGN: Controlled laboratory study. METHODS: Eight Achilles tendon grafts were tested under tensile loads up to 400 N at 3 different lengths: long (75 mm), medium (48 mm), and short (34 mm). These 3 lengths represent midtunnel fixation, inlay fixation, and fixation near the ligament insertions. RESULTS: Shortening the graft from both long to medium and from medium to short increased the stiffness by approximately 25%. Long and medium grafts displaced significantly more than medium and short grafts, respectively. CONCLUSION: The effective length of a graft, which is determined by where it is fixed, should be considered an important variable in posterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
DeFrate, LE; van der Ven, A; Gill, TJ; Li, G
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