Mechanical comparison of biodegradable femoral fixation devices for hamstring tendon graft--a biomechanical study in a porcine model.

Research paper by Jia-Lin JL Wu, Tsu-Te TT Yeh, Hsain-Chung HC Shen, Cheng-Kung CK Cheng, Chian-Her CH Lee

Indexed on: 24 Mar '09Published on: 24 Mar '09Published in: Clinical Biomechanics


Initial fixation strength is critical for the early post-operative rehabilitation of patients with anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions. However, even the best femoral fixation devices remain controversial. We compared the biomechanical characteristics of tendon grafts fixed by different biodegradable femoral fixation devices following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.The Bio-TransFix, Rigidfix, Bioscrew with EndoPearl augmentation and Bioscrew devices were used to fix porcine flexor digitorum profundus tendon grafts in 32 porcine femora. Displacement of each tendon graft was evaluated after cyclic loading testing. Stiffness, ultimate failure load and failure mode of these fixation devices were measured with load-to-failure testing.The displacement of the femur-graft-cement complex in response to cyclic loading was lower (P<0.05) for the Bio-TransFix than the Rigidfix, Bioscrew with EndoPearl augmentation, and Bioscrew groups. The fixation stiffness values of the Rigidfix and the Bioscrew were significantly greater (P<0.05) than that of the Bio-TransFix. The ultimate failure load was significantly greater for the Bio-TransFix and the Rigidfix than the Bioscrew with EndoPearl augmentation or the Bioscrew (P<0.05).The Bio-TransFix provided the least graft displacement under cyclic loading. However, this device gave less stability. The Rigidfix device provided better stability and stiffness of the tendon graft among those fixation devices that showed no significant differences in graft displacement under cyclic loading. However, no single fixation device provided less displacement along with a larger failure load and stiffness in this study.