Minimising post-operative donor site morbidity is an important consideration when selecting a graft for surgical reconstruction of the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). One of the most common procedures, the bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) graft involves removal of the central third from the tendon. However, it is unknown whether the mechanical properties of the donor site (patellar tendon) recover. The present study investigated the mechanical properties of the human patellar tendon in 12 males (mean+/-S.D. age: 37+/-14 years) who had undergone surgical reconstruction of the ACL using a BPTB graft between 1 and 10 years before the study (operated knee; OP). The uninjured contralateral knee served as a control (CTRL). Patellar tendon mechanical properties were assessed in vivo combining dynamometry with ultrasound imaging. Patellar tendon stiffness was calculated from the gradient of the tendon's force-elongation curve. Tendon stiffness was normalised to the tendon's dimensions to obtain the tendon's Young's modulus. Cross-sectional area (CSA) of OP patellar tendons was larger by 21% than CTRL tendons (P<0.01). Patellar tendon stiffness was not significantly different between OP and CTRL tendons, but the Young's modulus was lower by 24% in OP tendons (P<0.01). A compensatory enlargement of the patellar tendon CSA, presumably due to scar tissue formation, enabled a recovery of tendon stiffness in the OP tendons. The newly formed tendon tissue had inferior properties as indicated by the reduced tendon Young's modulus, but it increased to a level that enabled recovery of tendon stiffness.

Human patellar tendon stiffness is restored following graft harvest for anterior cruciate ligament surgery.

MAFFULLI, Nicola;
2009

Abstract

Minimising post-operative donor site morbidity is an important consideration when selecting a graft for surgical reconstruction of the torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). One of the most common procedures, the bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) graft involves removal of the central third from the tendon. However, it is unknown whether the mechanical properties of the donor site (patellar tendon) recover. The present study investigated the mechanical properties of the human patellar tendon in 12 males (mean+/-S.D. age: 37+/-14 years) who had undergone surgical reconstruction of the ACL using a BPTB graft between 1 and 10 years before the study (operated knee; OP). The uninjured contralateral knee served as a control (CTRL). Patellar tendon mechanical properties were assessed in vivo combining dynamometry with ultrasound imaging. Patellar tendon stiffness was calculated from the gradient of the tendon's force-elongation curve. Tendon stiffness was normalised to the tendon's dimensions to obtain the tendon's Young's modulus. Cross-sectional area (CSA) of OP patellar tendons was larger by 21% than CTRL tendons (P<0.01). Patellar tendon stiffness was not significantly different between OP and CTRL tendons, but the Young's modulus was lower by 24% in OP tendons (P<0.01). A compensatory enlargement of the patellar tendon CSA, presumably due to scar tissue formation, enabled a recovery of tendon stiffness in the OP tendons. The newly formed tendon tissue had inferior properties as indicated by the reduced tendon Young's modulus, but it increased to a level that enabled recovery of tendon stiffness.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/4205655
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