Blunt-threaded interference screws used for fixation of hamstring tendons in anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions provide aperture fixation and may provide a biomechanically more stable graft than a graft fixed further from the articular surface. It is unknown if soft tissue fixation strength using interference screws is affected by screw length. We corn pared the cyclic and time-zero pull-out forces of 7 x 25 mm and 7 x 40 mm blunt-threaded metal interference screws for hamstring graft tibial fixation in eight paired human cadaveric specimens. A four-stranded autologous hamstring tendon graft was secured by a blunt-threaded interference screw into a proximal tibial tunnel with a diameter corresponding to the graft width. Eight grafts were secured with a 25-mm length screw while the other eight paired grafts were secured with a 40-mm length screw. During cyclic testing, slippage of the graft occurred as the force of pull became greater with each cycle until the graft-screw complex ultimately failed. All grafts failed at the fixation site, with the tendon being pulled past the screw. There were no measurable differences in the mean cyclic failure strength, pull-out strength, or stiffness between the two sizes of screws. Although use of the longer screw would make removal technically easier should revision surgery be necessary, it did not provide stronger fixation strength than the shorter, standard screw as had been postulated.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation