Effect of the Iliotibial Band on Knee Biomechanics during a Simulated Pivot Shift Test

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of the iliotibial band (ITB) on the kinematics of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) intact and deficient knees and also on the in situ force in the ACL during a simulated pivot shift test. A combination of 10 N-m valgus and 5 N-m internal tibial torques was applied to 10 human cadaveric knees at 15°, 30°, 45°, and 60° of flexion using a robotic/universal force-moment sensor testing system. ITB forces of 0, 22, 44, and 88 N were also applied. An 88 N ITB force significantly decreased coupled anterior tibial translation of ACL deficient knees by 32%-45% at high flexion angles, but did not have a significant effect at low flexion angles. Further, an 88 N ITB force significantly decreased in situ forces in the ACL at all flexion angles by 23%-40%. These results indicate that during the pivot shift test, the ITB can improve tibial reduction at high flexion angles while not affecting subluxation at low flexion angles. Additionally, the action of the ITB as an ACL agonist suggests that its use as an ACL graft might hinder knee stability in response to rotatory load.

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