Tibial tunnel enlargement after anatomic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with a bone-patellar tendon-bone graft. Part 2: Factors related to the tibial tunnel enlargement.

Affiliation

Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2, Yamada-oka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

BACKGROUND : Factors related to tunnel enlargement after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction should be evaluated by multivariate analysis, because the phenomenon has multifactorial characteristics. The purpose of this study was to elucidate the factors related to the tibial tunnel enlargement rate after anatomic ACL reconstruction with a bone-patellar tendon-bone (BTB) graft using multivariate analysis.
METHODS : Eighteen patients with unilateral ACL rupture were included. The anatomic rectangular-tunnel (ART) ACL reconstruction with a BTB autograft was performed. 3D CT models of the tibia, the tibial tunnel, and the bone plug at 3 weeks and 1 year after surgery were reconstructed and superimposed using a surface registration technique. The cross-sectional area (CSA) of the tibial tunnel perpendicular to the tunnel axis was evaluated at the aperture. The CSA was measured at 3 weeks and 1 year after surgery, and the tunnel enlargement rate at the aperture was calculated. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to detect the significantly related factors to the tibial tunnel enlargement rate at the aperture among potential factors consisting of preoperative demographic factors and predisposing factors with the tibial tunnel.
RESULTS : The tibial tunnel enlargement rate at the aperture was 21.9 ± 14.1% (mean ± standard deviation). Multiple linear regression analysis detected the tendon length inside the tunnel as a significantly independent factor related to the tibial tunnel enlargement rate at the aperture (standardized β = 0.726, P = 0.008). There was no significant relationship between the tibial tunnel enlargement rate at the aperture and postoperative side-to-side difference (SSD) of the anterior knee laxity or Tegner activity level scale under single linear regression analysis.
CONCLUSIONS : The greater tendon length inside the tunnel was independently related to the higher tibial tunnel enlargement rate at the aperture 1-year after anatomic ACL reconstruction with a BTB graft under multiple linear regression analysis.

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