Toward developing a transducer for measuring in vivo tension in anterior cruciate ligament grafts in humans, the objectives of this study were to determine the following: (1) whether the calibration of a previously reported femoral fixation device transducer (FDT) (Ventura et al., 1998) is affected by the presence of the graft when implanted in the tibial metaphysis of an ovine model, (2) whether the FDT remains calibrated at 4 weeks postoperatively, and (3) whether the biological incorporation of the graft occurs prior to a change in the FDT calibration. The FDT was implanted in the hind limb of five sheep using an extra-articular procedure. Both the proximal common digital extensor tendon (i.e., graft) and a Teflon-coated wire were looped around the FDT inside a tunnel in the tibial metaphysis. The FDT was calibrated on three occasions using the loop of wire: once intraoperatively before graft insertion, once intraoperatively after graft insertion, and once postoperatively after the animals had been sacrificed at 4 weeks. Following sacrifice, the load transmitted to the FDT by the graft was also determined. The FDT exhibited linear calibration intraoperatively both before and after graft insertion with an average error relative to the calibration before insertion of the graft of −4.6 percent of full-scale load (150 N) and this average relative error was not significantly different from zero After 4 weeks of implantation, the average relative percent error was −5.0 percent and was not significantly different from zero indicating that the FDT remained calibrated in the in vivo environment. Because only 15 percent of the graft tension was transmitted to the FDT after 4 weeks, biological incorporation of the graft preceded the loss of calibration. In light of these findings, the FDT offers the capability of measuring the intra-articular ACL graft tension in vivo in animal models and possibly humans before the biological bond develops and also of monitoring the formation and maturation of the biological bond between a graft and bone tunnel.
In Vivo Calibration of a Femoral Fixation Device Transducer for Measuring Anterior Cruciate Ligament Graft Tension: A Study in an Ovine Model
Contributed by the Bioengineering Division for publication in the JOURNAL OF BIOMECHANICAL ENGINEERING. Manuscript received by the Bioengineering Division March 7, 2000; revised manuscript received February 27, 2001. Associate Editor: R. Vanderby, Jr.
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Zacharias , I., Howell, S. M., Hull, M. L., and Lawhorn, K. W. (February 27, 2001). "In Vivo Calibration of a Femoral Fixation Device Transducer for Measuring Anterior Cruciate Ligament Graft Tension: A Study in an Ovine Model ." ASME. J Biomech Eng. August 2001; 123(4): 355–361. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.1385842
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