Influence of screw length and diameter on tibial strain energy density distribution after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Jie Yao, Guan Ming Kuang, Duo Wai Chi Wong, Wen Xin Niu, Ming Zhang, Yu Bo Fan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Postoperative tunnel enlargement has been frequently reported after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Interference screw, as a surgical implant in ACL reconstruction, may influence natural loading transmission and contribute to tunnel enlargement. The aims of this study are (1) to quantify the alteration of strain energy den-sity (SED) distribution after the anatomic single-bundleACL reconstruction; and (2) to characterize the influence of screw length and diameter on the degree of the SED alteration. A validated finite element model of human knee joint was used. The screw length ranging from 20 to 30mm with screw diameter ranging from 7 to 9mm were investigated. In the post-operative knee, the SED increased steeply at the extra-articular tunnel aperture under compressive and complex loadings, whereas the SED decreased beneath the screw shaft and nearby the intra-articular tunnel aperture. Increasing the screw length could lower the SED deprivation in the proximal part of the bone tunnel; whereas increasing either screw length or diameter could aggravate the SED deprivation in the distal part of the bone tunnel. Decreasing the elastic modulus of the screw could lower the bone SED deprivation around the screw. In consideration of both graft stability and SED alteration, a biodegradable interference screw with a long length is recommended, which could provide a beneficial mechanical environment at the distal part of the tunnel, and meanwhile decrease the bone-graft motion and synovial fluid propagation at the proximal part of the tunnel. These findings together with the clinical and histological factors could help to improve surgical outcome, and serve as a preliminary knowledge for the following study of biodegradable interference screw.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalActa Mechanica Sinica/Lixue Xuebao
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Anterior crucial ligament reconstruction
  • Screw diameter
  • Screw length
  • Strain energy density

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computational Mechanics


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