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The unpredictable material properties of bioabsorbable PLC interference screws and their adverse effects in ACL reconstruction surgery

Konan, S; Haddad, FS; (2009) The unpredictable material properties of bioabsorbable PLC interference screws and their adverse effects in ACL reconstruction surgery. Knee Surgery, Sports Traumatology, Arthroscopy , 17 (3) pp. 293-297. 10.1007/s00167-008-0684-x.

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to look at the clinical outcome of polylactide carbonate (PLC) interference screws in knee ligament reconstruction surgery. We prospectively followed up 59 patients who underwent primary hamstring anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions using PLC (Calaxo screw; Smith and Nephew, Andover, MA) screws to secure the graft in the tibial tunnel. The average age was 34 years (range 17-55 years, SD 8.93). Twenty-three (39%) patients presented with complications [synovitis in 15% (nine) patients, prominent tibial swelling in 34% (20) patients and both in seven patients]. In comparison, similar complications were not seen in two groups of 59 age and sex matched patients in whom PLLA (Bio RCI; Smith and Nephew, Andover, MA) screws or Titanium (RCI; Smith and Nephew, Andover, MA) screws were used by the same surgeon. The problems encountered in the PLC screw group did not adversely affect knee stability. Six patients underwent exploration of the tibial tunnel site. A sterile white cheesy substance was removed, leaving an empty tibial tunnel. The ACL graft was found to be well attached to tibial tunnel in all cases. The PLC screw diameter, surface area or tibial tunnel diameter did not have any correlation to the occurrence of complications. Two patients required multiple washouts, one of whom developed a deep infection. The degradation of PLC screws does not follow the gradual and controlled pattern demonstrated in the ovine model. The unpredictable screw degradation, and the reaction to it can lead to serious clinical consequences. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.

Type: Article
Title: The unpredictable material properties of bioabsorbable PLC interference screws and their adverse effects in ACL reconstruction surgery
DOI: 10.1007/s00167-008-0684-x
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/50106
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