[Troublesome radiologic changes after reconstructive fixation of the anterior cruciate ligament with resorbable interference screws]

Published online: Mar 27 1998

F Loubignac, F Lecuire, J Rubini, and M Basso.

Service de chirurgie B, orthopédie-traumatologie, Centre Hospitalier d'Antibes, France.


The authors report worrisome radiological changes which were noted after implantation of absorbable interference screws in ligamentoplasty at the knee joint. Seventeen screws were implanted between September 1995 and July 1996, in eleven patients (average age 27) who were operated upon for chronic anterior knee instability. They underwent a modified Kenneth Jones procedure using autografts with absorbable interference screws (Acufex in 2 cases and Bio-interférix in 9 cases). Significant enlargement of bone tunnels and bony sclerosis of their edges were noted in every patient, but without any modification in the positioning of the graft. No clinical instability was observed in any of the patients, with one to two years follow-up. Publications on this topic are scarce except for one author who reported enlargement of bone tunnels after using bone-patellar tendon-bone allografts. Resorption of absorbable screws probably induces a marked inflammatory reaction, with radiological changes reminiscent of those sometimes observed after tendon allografts. Although the radiological changes reported here may not affect the graft fixation, the authors have reverted to using metallic interference screws.