Hybrid Tibia Fixation of Soft Tissue Grafts in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction: A Systematic Review

George C. Balazs, Alaina M. Brelin, Patrick D. Grimm, Jonathan F. Dickens, David J. Keblish, John Paul H. Rue*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Optimal fixation of soft tissue grafts in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction remains a controversial topic, and tibial-sided fixation is frequently cited as the "weak point" of the femur-graft-tibia construct. Some studies have recommended the use of hybrid fixation (combining intratunnel aperture fixation and extracortical suspensory fixation) on the tibial side to increase the strength of the reconstructed ACL and decrease the risk of graft slippage and subsequent failure. However, no consensus has emerged on the necessity or suitability of this technique, relative to single modes of fixation. Purpose: This study sought answers to the following questions: (1) Does hybrid fixation result in stronger, stiffer initial fixation of soft tissue grafts? (2) Does hybrid fixation reduce side-to-side laxity differences in clinical practice? (3) Does hybrid fixation increase complication rates when compared with a single mode of tibial fixation? Study Design: Systematic review. Methods: A systematic keyword search of PubMed, EMBASE, the Cochrane Library of Systematic Reviews, and the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews was performed. Candidate articles were included if they compared biomechanical or clinical characteristics of tibial-sided hybrid fixation (defined as a combination of aperture and suspensory fixation methods) with single-mode fixation of soft tissue grafts in ACL reconstruction. Results: A total of 21 studies (15 biomechanical, 6 clinical) met criteria for inclusion. Most biomechanical studies reported significantly increased strength and stiffness with hybrid fixation versus single modes of fixation. Among clinical studies, 66% reported significantly decreased anterior-posterior laxity when hybrid fixation methods were employed, with the remainder showing no difference. Conclusion: Hybrid methods of tibial-sided graft fixation in ACL reconstruction result in stronger initial fixation and less side-to-side laxity after healing but do not change patient-reported outcomes at 1- to 3-year follow-up. Registration: PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews No. 42014015464.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2724-2732
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • ACL reconstruction
  • hybrid fixation
  • soft tissue grafts
  • tibial fixation


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