Background: The desire to perform independent femoral drilling in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction has prompted interest in both the transportal (TP) and outside-in (OI) techniques. However, there have been no in vivo studies on the differences in femoral aperture shape between the 2 techniques. Purpose: To evaluate the femoral tunnel aperture shape and femoral tunnel position between ACL reconstruction using the TP and OI techniques. Study Design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1. Methods: A total of 80 patients were randomized to undergo double-bundle ACL reconstruction using either the TP (n = 40) or OI (n = 40) technique. The femoral tunnel aperture shape (height/width ratio), aperture axis angle (angle between the aperture axis and femoral shaft axis), and femoral tunnel position were assessed by computed tomography. Results: The mean height/width ratio of the anteromedial (AM) femoral tunnels in the TP group (1.35 ± 0.16) was significantly more ellipsoidal than that in the OI group (1.22 ± 0.16) (P = .008). There was no difference between the 2 groups in the posterolateral (PL) tunnels (TP, 1.32 ± 0.23; OI, 1.35 ± 0.29; P = .99). The mean aperture axis angle of the PL femoral tunnels in the OI group was significantly more perpendicular to the femoral shaft axis and had a more variable range than that in the TP group (P = .007). The mean PL femoral tunnel position in the OI group was significantly shallower and a little higher than that in the TP group (P = .006). Conclusion: The TP technique revealed a more ellipsoidal AM femoral tunnel aperture than the OI technique. The mean PL femoral tunnel position in the OI group was significantly shallower than that in the TP group, with a more variable and more perpendicular aperture axis angle to the femoral shaft axis. Clinical Relevance: The TP technique might be more advantageous than the OI technique in terms of graft coverage, with a more ellipsoidal AM femoral tunnel and more horizontal and consistent PL aperture axis angle. In addition, it may be useful to consider the shallower PL femoral tunnel positions created with the OI technique.
- anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
- aperture shape
- femoral tunnel position
- tunnel position
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation