The effect of anterior cruciate ligament graft orientation on rotational knee kinematics Academic Article uri icon


  • To determine whether coronal graft orientation and tunnel placement for single-bundle anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is associated with tibial rotation excursion during functional activities.Eighty-four patients who had undergone ACL reconstruction over a ten-year time span had tibial rotation measured during level walking, using a three-dimensional motion analysis system. Fifty-two patients also had measures taken during the more dynamic task of single-limb landing. During the 10-year period, the position of the graft was deliberately changed from a vertical to more horizontal orientation in the coronal plane. Post-operative radiographs were analysed for the coronal graft orientation and femoral and tibial tunnel positions. Radiographic measurements of graft orientation and tunnel position were then correlated with the amount of tibial rotational excursion recorded during the walking and landing tasks.For the single-limb landing task, a significant positive correlation was observed between the coronal graft angle and rotational excursion (R = 0.35, R (2)  = 0.12, p = 0.01). This indicated greater rotational excursion was associated with vertical graft orientation, but only explained 12 % of the variance. No correlations were found between coronal graft angle and tibial rotation during level walking.These findings support the notion that ACL graft orientation may play a role in rotational kinematics of the ACL-reconstructed knee, particularly during higher impact activities.IV.

publication date

  • September 2013