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Permanent URL to this publication: http://dx.doi.org/10.5167/uzh-57887

Farshad, M; Weinert-Aplin, R A; Stalder, M; Koch, P P; Snedeker, J G; Meyer, D C (2012). Embossing of a screw thread and TCP granules enhances the fixation strength of compressed ACL grafts with interference screws. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy, 20(2):268-274.

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Fixation of soft tissue grafts with interference screws relies on the friction of the graft between the screw and the bone tunnel. The goal of this study was to precondition such grafts by mechanical compression in order to reduce anticipated and undesired viscoelastic adaptation of the graft to screw pressure. Further, the otherwise slippery graft surface was modified with impressed tricalcium phosphate granules (TCP) to improve friction and mechanical hold.

Fresh flexor digitorum tendons from young bovines were used to create bundles with a diameter of 8-9 mm and were divided into 10 groups to compare the pullout strength and bone damage in a variety of construct scenarios. Specifically, the effects of graft precompression to reduce preimplantation graft diameter were investigated. Further the effects of impressing TCP granules and/or a screw thread into the tendon surface during the compression process were studied.

In sawbone tests, radial graft compression allowed for a smaller bone tunnel (7 mm), but resulted in a significantly lower pullout strength of 174 N (95% CI: 97, 250), compared with controls [315 N (204, 426)]. In contrast, TCP coated [402 N (243, 561)], screw embossed grafts [458 N (302, 614)], and the combination of TCP and embossing [409 N (274, 543)] achieved higher pullout strengths when compared to the standard technique. In porcine bone, untreated grafts using an 8 mm screw pulled out at 694 ± 93 N, significantly higher loads were required to pullout compressed grafts with or without TCP coating (870 ± 74 and 878 ± 131 N), yet fixed with a 7 mm screw.

Modification of the tendon graft surface has a large influence on the biomechanical performance of interference screw fixation and results in less bone damage inflicted during insertion to a smaller tunnel diameter, while simultaneously achieving superior pullout strength.


4 citations in Web of Science®
4 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Deposited On:25 Feb 2012 11:04
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:32
Publisher DOI:10.1007/s00167-011-1623-9
PubMed ID:21779794

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