Influence of the Crosshead Rate on the Mechanical Properties of Fixation Systems of ACL Tendon Grafts

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is one of the most important aspects of knee surgery. For this purpose, several fixation devices have been developed, although the interference screw is the most frequently used. The most typical biomechanical test of these devices consists of placing them in a testing machine and subjecting them to a pull-out test. However, insufficient attention has been paid to the influence of the displacement test rate on the mechanical properties of the fixation system. The aim of this study is to compare the influence of the crosshead rate in the biomechanical test of two different devices for the fixation of ACL tendon grafts. One hundred in vitro tests were performed using porcine tibiae and bovine tendons. The fixation devices used were (1) an interference screw and (2) a new expansion device. All ACL reconstructions were subjected to pull-out test to failure. Five crosshead rates were employed in a range from 30 mm/min to 4000 mm/min. Statistical analyses of the results show that, for the two devices, the rate has a significant effect on both maximum force and stiffness. Moreover, the new expansion device showed lesser dependency on the crosshead rate than the interference screw.

Martel is with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Las Palmas University, Campus de Tafira Baja, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. Cárdenes is with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Las Palmas University, Campus de Tafira Baja, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. Garcés is with the Department of Medical and Surgical Science, Las Palmas University, Campus de San Cristóbal, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain. Carta is with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Las Palmas University, Campus de Tafira Baja, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.