Magnetic resonance imaging appearance of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using Calaxo screws

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Bioabsorbable interference screws are commonly used to secure the graft during anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, in part because they result in less image degradation on subsequent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, some bioabsorbable screws are associated with abnormalities on MRI examination not reported with metallic interference screws. We describe a finding on knee MRI examination after ACL reconstruction using a polylactide carbonate (PLC) bioabsorbable screw that we believe to be previously unreported with any other bioabsorbable screws. The finding raised suspicion of hemorrhage or infection, neither of which were present clinically. Analysis of tissue from the tibial tunnel suggested an explanation for the MRI finding: calcite crystals. An additional five patients with knee MRI examinations after ACL reconstruction using a PLC screw were reviewed and correlated with clinical findings with four having similar imaging abnormalities present. The PLC (Calaxo screw, Smith and Nephew, Andover, MA) screw used in these patients has been recalled in the United States and Europe by the manufacturer after a greater than expected incidence of adverse reactions, and legal action may be pending.

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