DOI: 10.1111/os.13938 ISSN: 1757-7853

A Cadaveric Study of the Optimal Isometric Region on the Anterolateral Surface of the Knee in Anterolateral Ligament Reconstruction

Gai Yao, Yang Liu, Zhiyou Zhou, Xuchao Zhang, Kang Liu, Xiawei Fu, Zikai Hua, Zimin Wang
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Surgery


Isolated intra‐articular anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is not capable of restoring instability in many cases leading some to recommend concomitant anterolateral ligament (ALL) reconstruction. The satisfactory fixation site and graft length change are crucial in ligament reconstruction to restore the ALL function and avoid some unwanted graft behavior. The purpose of this investigation is to determine the optimal isometric region on the anterolateral aspect of the knee for ALL reconstruction using a three‐dimensional optical instrument and a suture similar to an intraoperative isometric test.


Six freshly frozen cadaveric human knees were used in this study. Data regarding the anterolateral surface were obtained using an optical measurement system to create a three‐dimensional model. Nine points were selected on the femur (F1‐F9) and tibia (Ta‐Ti) respectively. The three‐dimensional length change between each pair of tibial and femoral points was measured during passive knee flexion from 0° to 90° in 15° increments. Subsequently, five femoral points (A–E) were selected from the lateral femur, located in different areas relative to the lateral femoral epicondyle, and three tibial reference points (T1‐T3) were selected in the isometric test. The changes in the length between each pair of reference points were measured using sutures. The 95% confidence interval for the rate of length change was estimated using the mean and standard deviation of the maximum rate of length change at different flexion angles, and the data were expressed as the mean (95% confidence interval) and compared with the maximum acceptable rate of change (10%).


The maximum acceptable change rate for ligament reconstruction is 10%, and the mean maximum rates and the 95% confidence interval (CI) of length change for the point combinations were calculated. Among all the combined points measured using the optical measurement system and the suture, the qualified point combination for reconstruction was F3 (8mm posterior and 8mm proximal to the lateral femoral epicondyle)‐Tb (8mm proximal to the midpoint between the center of Gerdy's tubercle and the fibula head), A (posterior and proximal to the lateral femoral epicondyle)‐T2 (10mm below the joint line)and A‐T3 (15 mm below the joint line). The position of F3‐Tb and A‐T2 are close to each other.


The most isometric area of the femur for ALL reconstruction was posterior and proximal to the lateral femoral epicondyle. We recommend that the initial location of the femoral point be set at 8 mm posterior and 8 mm proximal to the lateral femoral epicondyle and the tibial point at approximately 10 mm below the joint line, midway between Gerdy's tubercle and fibular head, and subsequently adjusted to the most satisfactory position according to the isometric test.

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