An MCL internal brace can withstand cyclic fatigue loading and produce a valgus load to failure similar to that of intact knees

Marc A. Tompkins*, Hanna Williams, Joan E. Bechtold

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to report on the biomechanical durability and strength of an MCL internal brace construct. The null hypothesis is that there will be no difference between this construct and the intact MCL in terms of deflection during fatigue testing and the ultimate failure load. Methods: Eight cadaver knees were used. A grade 3 equivalent MCL tear was created with both the superficial and deep femoral MCL severed. An internal brace was created by placing a cortical button and loop through the center of the femoral MCL origin and secured on the lateral cortex of the distal femur. A FiberTape (Arthrex, Naples, FL) was looped through the cortical button loop and was secured in the center of the tibial insertion of the MCL. After pre-cycling, the specimens underwent 1000 cycles of compressive load between 100 and 300 N, using four point bending testing into direct valgus. Pre and post testing deflection was measured using three dimensional motion data from two sets of reflective markers. A load-to-failure test was then conducted with failure defined as the first significant decrease in the load–displacement curve. Results: The mean increase in deflection between pre- and post-testing was 0.6° (SD ± 0.3°). The mean failure bending moment was 122.4 Nm (SD ± 29 Nm). Conclusion: The internal brace construct employed in this study was able to withstand cyclic fatigue loading and recorded a valgus load to failure similar to that of intact knees. It is important for clinicians who are considering using this commercially available technique to be aware of how the construct performs under cyclic loading compared to the intact MCL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3611-3617
Number of pages7
JournalKnee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy
Volume31
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cyclic testing
  • Internal brace
  • Load to failure
  • MCL

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