Remnant preservation, in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction, has potential biological advantages. However, graft positioning remains vital to functional outcome and the prevention of failure. The aim of this study was to investigate the accuracy and precision of tibial tunnel positioning in remnant preservation single-bundle hamstring reconstruction.
Fifty consecutive adult patients, with isolated ACL rupture, were recruited to a prospective study. Remnant preservation was performed in all cases where > 25% of the native ACL was present. Three-dimensional computer tomography was preformed 3–6 months post-operatively to assess tibial tunnel position (using a grid-based measurement). Accuracy and precision of this technique were assessed against published anatomical data in direct comparison with the group where remnant preservation could not be performed.
Two patients withdrew following surgery. In the remaining groups (31 remnant preservation; 17 non-remnant preservation), no difference was demonstrated in tunnel position (40.4 ± 6.7% (anterior-to-posterior) and 47.4 ± 1.5% (medial-to-lateral) vs. 38.8 ± 4.9% and 46.7 ± 1.5%, respectively; n.s.), accuracy (6.1% vs. 4.8%; n.s.) or precision (3.9% vs. 2.8%; n.s.).
Remnant preservation can be safely performed without compromising tunnel position. Therefore, the potential benefits of this technique can be utilised, in clinical practice, without sacrificing the ability to optimize tibial tunnel positioning.