Previous studies of biomechanical properties of femur-anterior cruciate ligament-tibia complex (FATC) utilized a wide variety of testing methodologies, particularly with respect to ligament orientation relative to loading direction. A new device was designed and built to test the anterior-posterior displacement of the intact porcine knee at 30 and 90 deg of flexion, as well as the tensile properties of the FATC at any loading direction and flexion angle. Tensile tests were performed with the knees at 30 and 90 deg of flexion with the loading direction along either the axis of the tibia (tibial axis) or the axis of the anterior cruciate ligament (ligament axis). The results showed that the stiffness, ultimate load and energy absorbed were all significantly increased when the FATC was tested along the ligament axis. This study demonstrates the importance of alignment in the evaluation of the biomechanical characteristics of the femur-ACL-tibia complex.

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