Clin Orthop Surg.  2017 Sep;9(3):270-279. 10.4055/cios.2017.9.3.270.

Comparison of Poly-L-Lactic Acid and Poly-L-Lactic Acid/Hydroxyapatite Bioabsorbable Screws for Tibial Fixation in ACL Reconstruction: Clinical and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Results

  • 1Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Konkuk University Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hanil General Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 3Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Inje University Seoul Paik Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Soonchunhyang University Cheonan Hospital, Cheonan, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to compare the clinical and radiological results of 2 different tibial fixations performed using bioabsorbable screws with added hydroxyapatite (HA) and pure poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA) screws in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction.
A total of 394 patients who underwent arthroscopic ACL reconstruction between March 2009 and June 2012 were retrospectively reviewed. Of those, 172 patients who took the radiological and clinical evaluations at more than 2 years after surgery were enrolled and divided into 2 groups: PLLA group (n = 86) and PLLA-HA group (n = 86). Both groups were assessed by means of the Lysholm score, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) subjective knee score, and Tegner activity score. Stability was evaluated using the KT-2000 arthrometer. Magnetic resonance imaging was performed to evaluate tibial tunnel widening, screw resorption, osteoingeration, and foreign body reactions.
The PLLA-HA group showed significant reduction in the extent of tibial tunnel widening and foreign body reactions and significant increase in screw resorption compared to the pure PLLA group (p < 0.001 for both). In contrast, postoperative Lysholm score, Tegner activity score, IKDC score, and side-to-side difference on the KT-2000 arthrometer showed no significant differences between groups (p = 0.478, p = 0.906, p = 0.362, and p = 0.078, respectively). The PLLA group showed more significant widening in the proximal tibial tunnel than the PLLA-HA group (p = 0.001). In the correlation analysis, proximal tibial tunnel widening revealed a positive correlation with knee laxity (r = 0.866) and a negative correlation with Lysholm score (r = −0.753) (p < 0.01 for both).
The HA added PLLA screws would be advantageous for tibial graft fixation by reducing tibial tunnel widening, improving osteointegration, and lowering foreign body reactions. Even though no clinically significant differences were noted between the pure PLLA group and PLLA-HA group, widening of the proximal area of the tibial tunnel showed a tendency to increase knee laxity measured using the KT-2000 arthrometer.


Anterior cruciate ligament; Tunnel enlargement; Tunnel widening; Bioabsorbable interference screw; Hydroxyapatite
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