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Arthroscopy, Sports Medicine, and Rehabilitation




Purpose: To compare the pullout strength of a bio-inductive implant (BI) used to augment a medial patellofemoral ligament (MPFL) repair with the pullout strength of semitendinosus graft in a biomechanical cadaveric model. Methods: Six matched pairs of cadavers (12 knees) were used in the biomechanical testing comparing semitendinosus tendon (Semi-T) versus a BI. The Semi-T was harvested from 1 of the matched pairs. A standard double-bundle technique using 2 sockets in the upper two-thirds of the patella 15 mm apart was performed. After docking of the graft into the patella, the patella was dissected free of soft tissues and potted into a fixture to allow mechanical pull parallel to the transverse axis of the patella. The construct was pulled to failure. Results: There was no statistically significant difference in pullout strength (P = .77) between the BI group (249.3 ± 36.3 N) and Semi-T group (235.0 ± 113.6 N) double-bundle constructs. In the Semi-T group, 50% of the specimens (3 of 6 knees) failed via anchor pullout and a fourth specimen failed at the suture-anchor interface (16.7%), whereas in the BI group, 16.7% of the specimens (1 of 6 knees) failed by anchor pullout. Although the Semi-T group (49.5 ± 14.1 N/mm) showed significantly greater stiffness than the BI group (13.8 ± 0.6 N/mm, P < .01), pullout strength in the Semi-T group was highly variable: 50% of the specimens (3 of 6 knees) with semitendinosus constructs failed at 5 mm of displacement or less via graft or anchor pullout. Maximum load, displacement at failure, stiffness, and load at 5 mm were compared between the augmented and non-augmented control specimens using a 2-tailed non-equal variance Student t test. For all comparisons, P < .05 was considered to indicate a statistically significant difference. Conclusions: In this biomechanical study, augmentation of an MPFL reconstruction using a common double-bundle technique with a BI had the same pullout strength as a semitendinosus graft using the same technique in cadaveric knees. Clinical Relevance: MPFL repair after a patellar dislocation may be inadequate to restore the strength of the native MPFL and prevent recurrent patellar instability. Recurrent instability of the patella can result in progressive injury to the soft tissue and articular cartilage of the patella and femur. It is important to study the techniques used for MPFL repair to continually improve patient outcomes. Further testing of these additional techniques and clinical studies are needed to evaluate the implants used to augment MPFL repairs.


Copyright 2023 THE AUTHORS. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of the Arthroscopy Association of North America. This is an open access article under the CC BY license.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.