New intraoperative protocol for kinematic evaluation of ACL reconstruction: Preliminary results

S. Zaffagnini, S. Bignozzi, S. Martelli, N. Imakiire, N. Lopomo, M. Marcacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A real improvement in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery would be achieved if a global kinematic evaluation of graft performance could be made during surgery. A quantitative evaluation of all residual instabilities would be helpful in the evaluation of graft performances. This paper describes a new protocol for an accurate and extensive computer-assisted in vivo evaluation of joint laxities during ACL reconstruction. Fifteen in vivo kinematic evaluations during ACL reconstruction were performed using an optical localizer and custom software. The capability of the protocol was studied by analyzing the accuracy and repeatability of the results, the ergonomics of the setup, time taken, interactions with the surgical steps, and efficacy of the acquisitions. Repeatability of the tests, at maximum force, remained under 1 mm/2°. Repeatability in tibia position and orientation was lower than 1 mm/4°. Secondary laxities during stress tests remained under 2 mm/3°. Added time to surgery was about 11 min. ACL graft increased joint stability up to 52% with respect to the preoperative level. The simplicity and morbidity of the test procedure and system was minimally invasive and allowed a quantitative evaluation of knee laxities at time zero. The repeatability of the tests opens the way for future research on in vivo evaluation of different ACL reconstruction techniques, which may lead to a better understanding of associated lesions and their role to the global knee stability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)811-816
Number of pages6
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006


  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Kinematic evaluation
  • Knee
  • Navigation system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Surgery


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