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Can the gracilis replace the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee? A biomechanical study

Abstract : Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether a four-strand gracilis-only construct possesses the biomechanical properties needed to act as an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction graft. Methods: This was a pilot study with 32 cadaver specimens. The biomechanical properties of three types of grafts were determined using validated tensile testing methods: patellar tendon (BTB), both hamstring tendons together (GST4) and gracilis alone (G4). Results: The maximum load at failure of the G4 was 416.4 N (±187.7). The GST4 and BTB had a maximum load at failure of 473.5 N (±176.9) and 413.3 N (±120.4), respectively. The three groups had similar mean maximum load and stiffness values. The patellar tendon had significantly less elongation at failure than the other two graft types. Conclusions: The biomechanical properties of a four-strand gracilis construct are comparable to the ones of standard grafts. This type of graft would be useful in the reconstruction of the anteromedial bundle in patients with partial ACL ruptures.
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Étienne Cavaignac, Régis Pailhe, Nicolas Reina, Jérôme Murgier, Jean-Michel Laffosse, et al.. Can the gracilis replace the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee? A biomechanical study. International Orthopaedics, Springer Verlag, 2016, 40 (8), pp.1647-1653. ⟨10.1007/s00264-015-3027-9⟩. ⟨hal-01586734⟩

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