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Cadaveric study comparing the biomechanical properties of grafts used for knee anterolateral ligament reconstruction

Abstract : Purpose: To measure the biomechanical properties (maximum load, stiffness, and elongation) of the anterolateral ligament (ALL), gracilis, and iliotibial band (ITB) within the same subject. METHODS: Thirteen unpaired knees were used (7 women, 6 men). The donors had a mean age at death of 54 years (range: 37 to 70 years). The mechanical properties of two types of ALL grafts were evaluated: ITB and two-strand gracilis. The mechanical properties of ALL were also measured. Validated methods were used to perform the tensile tests to failure and to record the results. Student's t-test was used to compare the various samples. RESULTS: The maximum load to failure was 141 N (±40.6) for the ALL, 200.7 N (±48.7) for the gracilis, and 161.1 N (±27.1) for the ITB. Only the gracilis had a significantly higher failure load than ITB and ALL (P = .001 and P = .03). The stiffness was 21 N mm-1 (±8.2) for the ALL, 131.7 N mm-1 (±43.7) for the gracilis, and 39.9 N mm-1 (±6) for the ITB. The elongation at failure was 6.2 mm (±3.2) for the ALL, 19.9 mm (±6.5) for the gracilis, and 20.8 mm (±14.7) for the ITB. CONCLUSIONS: The gracilis had the highest maximum load to failure. The ITB's mechanical properties most closely resemble those of the ALL. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: The biomechanical properties of each potential ALL graft can be factored in when deciding which type of graft to use.
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Karine Wytrykowski, Pascal Swider, Nicolas Reina, Jérôme Murgier, Jean-Michel Laffosse, et al.. Cadaveric study comparing the biomechanical properties of grafts used for knee anterolateral ligament reconstruction. Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopy and Related Surgery, WB Saunders, 2016, vol. 32 (n° 11), pp. 2288-2294. ⟨10.1016/j.arthro.2016.03.004⟩. ⟨hal-01793124⟩

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