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Scientific Articles   |    
The Effects of Tibial Rotation on Posterior Translation in Knees in Which the Posterior Cruciate Ligament Has Been Cut
John A. Bergfeld, MD; David R. McAllister, MD; Richard D. Parker, MD; Antonio D. C. Valdevit, MSc; Helen Kambic, MS
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Investigation performed at the Section of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio
John A. Bergfeld, MD
Richard D. Parker, MD
Antonio D.C. Valdevit, MSc
Helen Kambic, MS
Section of Sports Medicine, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery (J.A.B. and R.D.P.), and Department of Biomedical Engineering (A.D.C.V. and H.K.), The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195. Please address requests for reprints to Dr. Bergfeld.

David R. McAllister, MD
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of California, Los Angeles, Center for Health Sciences, Box 956902, Los Angeles, CA 90095-6902

No benefits in any form have been received or will be received from a commercial party related directly or indirectly to the subject of this article. No funds were received in support of this study.

Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Orthopaedic Research Society, Orlando, Florida, March 12-15, 2000.

J Bone Joint Surg Am, 2001 Sep 01;83(9):1339-1343
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Abstract

Background: One of the most useful clinical tests for diagnosing an isolated injury of the posterior cruciate ligament is the posterior drawer maneuver performed with the knee in 90° of flexion. Previously, it was thought that internally rotating the tibia during posterior drawer testing would decrease posterior laxity in a knee with an isolated posterior cruciate ligament injury. In this study, we evaluated the effects of internal and external tibial rotation on posterior laxity with the knee held in varying degrees of flexion after the posterior cruciate and meniscofemoral ligaments had been cut.

Materials and Methods: Twenty cadaveric knees were used. Each knee was mounted in a fixture with six degrees of freedom, and anterior and posterior forces of 150 N were applied. The testing was conducted with the knee in 90°, 60°, 30°, and 0° of flexion with the tibia in neutral, internal, and external rotation. All knees were tested with the posterior cruciate and meniscofemoral ligaments intact and transected. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used for statistical analysis.

Results: At 30°, 60°, and 90° of flexion, there was a significant increase in posterior laxity following transection of the posterior cruciate and meniscofemoral ligaments. At 60° and 90° of flexion, there was significantly less posterior laxity when the tibia was held in internal compared with external rotation. At 0° and 30° of flexion, there was no significant difference in posterior laxity when the tibia was held in internal compared with external rotation.

Conclusions: After the posterior cruciate and meniscofemoral ligaments had been cut, posterior laxity was significantly decreased by both internal and external rotation of the tibia. Internal tibial rotation resulted in significantly less laxity than external tibial rotation did at 60° and 90° of knee flexion.

Clinical Relevance: An isolated injury of the posterior cruciate ligament is best detected when a posterior drawer test is performed with the knee in 90° of flexion. Repeating this test with the tibia internally rotated will result in a substantial decrease in the amount of posterior laxity at 60° and 90° of knee flexion.

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    Accreditation Statement
    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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