To compare proprioception recovery after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) with an autograft (hamstring tendon) versus the artificial Ligament Advanced Reinforcement System (LARS).
Material and Methods
Forty patients (9 women, 31 men) with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture were enrolled in this prospective study. Patients were randomized to two groups, ACLR using a hamstring autograft or artificial LARS, with similar patient numbers per group. Proprioception was assessed with joint position sense (JPS) at 45° and 75° flexions, with the contralateral healthy knee as a control.
Proprioception loss as measured by JPS deficit in both groups 3 months after ACLR (e.g., at 45° flexion, 2.81 ± 1.41 vs. 2.16 ± 0.85) was significantly higher than that at 12 months (1.87 ± 0.96 vs. 1.65 ± 0.73) (P < 0.05). However, no significant difference in proprioception loss was detected between the LARS and autograft groups at either 3 or 12 months after ACLR. Analyzing JPS deficit data showed a statistically significant difference between the groups at 3 months, but not at 12 months, after ACLR. Patients receiving the graft within 1 year of injury had a lower proprioception deficit than those receiving the graft more than 1 year after injury (e.g., at 45° flexion, 1.76 ± 0.72 vs. 3.15 ± 1.05). No complications were associated with either ACLR method.
ACLR with an autograft or LARS artificial graft rupture is similarly safe and effective for recovering knee proprioception, which may be primarily related to compensation by the articular capsule, muscle, and other soft tissue.