The progression of anterior translation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in a caprine model

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Large post-operative anterior-posterior translations are frequently reported after quadruped anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions. To determine when the translation increases occur and the mechanism responsible, we followed the anterior and posterior translation limits in 18 goat knees for six months. Reconstructions were performed using grafts 4 or 7 mm wide placed in initially tight or lax positions. The anterior and posterior translation limits at 50 N were monitored using Roentgen stereophotogrammetric analysis. Graft bone block stability and soft tissue segment lengths were also assessed. Large (>2 mm) increases in anterior translation were noted in 71% of the subjects at two weeks, and in 88% at eight weeks. The translations in the lax and tight groups were indistinguishable after two weeks. Joints with wide grafts had less anterior translation compared to narrow grafts at all time periods, but were significant different only at 26 weeks. The posterior translation limit moved anteriorly over the 26 weeks. Eight of nine joints had stable graft bone markers and/or increases in graft soft tissue lengths. In conclusion, increased anterior translation occurred soon after ACL reconstruction, was associated with graft soft tissue changes, and appeared to be reduced by larger grafts. A post-surgical decrease in posterior translation limit was also observed. © 2002 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.




Cummings, J. F., & Grood, E. S. (2002). The progression of anterior translation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in a caprine model. Journal of Orthopaedic Research, 20(5), 1003–1008.

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