The Effect of Nonphysiologically High Initial Tension on the Mechanical Properties of In Situ Frozen Anterior Cruciate Ligament in a Canine Model
AbstractAn experimental study was performed in 32 adult beagle dogs to clarify the effect of nonphysiologically high initial tension on the mechanical and histologic properties of in situ frozen anterior cruciate ligaments. Both anterior cruciate ligaments in each dog underwent the in situ freeze-thaw treatment. The tibial insertion of the ligament was then made free from the tibia along with a cylindrical bone block. In the right knee, an initial tension of 20 N was applied on the anterior cruciate ligament by translocating the bone block in the distal direction. In the left knee, this bone block was anatomically reduced. Each bone block was firmly fixed with an interference screw. Ten animals were sacrificed at 6 weeks and 10 at 12 weeks. The tensile strength and the tangent modulus in the highly tensioned knee were significantly less than those in the physiologically tensioned knee at 12 weeks. Histologically, cell nuclei appeared to be spindle-shaped in the physiologically tensioned knee, while oval nuclei and focal degenerative changes with a number of vacuoles were occasionally found in the matrix in the highly tensioned knee. This study demonstrated that a nonphysiologically high tension significantly deteriorates the mechanical properties of the in situ frozen anterior cruciate ligament compared with physiologic tension.