Anatomic Tunnel Placement in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

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Abstract

The anatomic anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction concept has developed in part from renewed interest in the insertional anatomy of the ACL, using surgical techniques that can reproduce this anatomy reliably and accurately during surgical reconstruction. Several technical tools are available to help identify and place the tibial and femoral grafts anatomically, including arthroscopic anatomic landmarks, a malleable ruler device, and intraoperative fluoroscopy. The changes in technique for anatomic tunnel placement in ACL reconstruction follow recent biomechanical and kinematic data that demonstrate improved time zero characteristics. A better re-creation of native ACL kinematics and biomechanics is achieved with independent femoral drilling techniques that re-create a central footprint single-bundle ACL reconstruction or double-bundle reconstruction. However, to date, limited short-term and long-term clinical outcome data have been reported that support using either of these techniques rather than a transtibial drilling technique. This lack of clear clinical advantage for femoral independent and/or double-bundle techniques may arise because of the potentially offsetting biologic incorporation challenges of these grafts when placed using these techniques or could result from modifications made in traditional endoscopic transtibial techniques that allow improved femoral and tibial footprint restoration.

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