ACL hamstring grafts fixed using adjustable cortical suspension in both the femur and tibia demonstrate healing and integration on MRI at one year.


Sydney Orthopaedic Research Institute, Level 1 The Gallery, 445 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, Sydney, NSW, 2067, Australia. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To present the clinical outcomes and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) analysis of adjustable cortical suspensory fixation for the femur and tibia in hamstring autograft anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.
METHODS : A cohort of 233 sequential patients was analysed for graft failure rate and subjective IKDC, Tegner and Lysholm scores. 144 validated 1-year MRIs assessed and correlated graft healing and tunnel widening.
RESULTS : At mean follow-up of 28 months ± 8.2 [median 26, range 12-49], the graft failure rate was 4.7%. Significant improvements were seen in all clinical scores (p < 0.001). MRI analysis showed 71% with fully integrated grafts in the tibia and 24% in the femur, with the remainder all showing greater than 50% integration. Graft signal was low and homogenous in 67% in the tibia, 29% in the intra-articular portion and 20% in the femur. One patient had greater than 50% high signal in the tibial graft and one in the intra-articular graft, all others demonstrated greater than 50% low signal. Both graft integration and signal were significantly better in the tibia than the femur (p < 0.01). Tunnel widening was 2.2 ± 1.4 mm and 2.7 ± 1.3 mm in the tibia and femur, respectively. Comparison of individual MRI appearances and overall clinical outcome at the same 12-month point demonstrated no consistent significant correlation.
CONCLUSIONS : Adjustable cortical suspensory fixation in both femoral and tibial tunnels provides good clinical outcomes and a low graft rupture rate. Grafts demonstrate healing with comparatively low tunnel widening. There was no consistent significant correlation between the appearances on MRI and clinical outcome.
METHODS : Case-control study, Level III.


Adjustable suspension,Anterior cruciate ligament reconsruction,Magnetic resonance imaging,