[Implant-free anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with the patella ligament and press-fit double bundle technique]
Journal Paper/Review - Jul 1, 2010
Hertel P, Behrend Henrik
Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction using autologous tendons (BTB patellar tendon, hamstrings, quadriceps tendon) in an implant-free fixation technique is becoming more and more popular due to biological and economical reasons. In 1987 an implant-free press-fit fixation technique of a BTB graft from the medial side of the patellar tendon (via mini-arthrotomy) was introduced and first published during the 4th ESKA Conference 1990 in Stockholm. Special emphasis is given to the anatomical orientation of the BTB graft. During the inside-out femoral press-fit fixation the bone-ligament margin of the graft is placed directly into the femoral insertion line of the natural ACL adapting its double-bundle structure. The graft is fixed by press-fit within the tibial metaphysis and its ligamentous part is secured in the metaphysis by harvested cancellous bone blocks driven into the joint line from the outside. The postoperative regime includes weight-bearing as tolerated and free motion. Out of 159 patients 95 could be seen for follow-up after an average of 10.7 years. The final IKDC knee score revealed 22.1% in group A (very good) and 62.1% in group B (good). The Tegner activity level was 6.8 preinjury and 6.0 postoperatively. The average KT 1,000 side-to-side difference was 1.8 mm. Subjectively no patient complained of instability and 99% of the patients could kneel on hard ground with minimal or no complaints. ACL revision surgery due to graft failure was not necessary in any of the patients. Advantages of the described procedure are a narrow anatomical orientation including the double bundle structure of the ACL, rapid graft incorporation by bone-to-bone healing, lack of bone resorption at the graft-host interface, decreased donor site morbidity, cost-effectiveness and ease of possible revision surgery.