A dynamic study of the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee using an open MRI
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Recent anatomical and radiological studies of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) suggest the ACL length and orientation change during knee flexion, and an open MRI sequencing during knee flexion enables a dynamic ACL analysis. This study’s goal is to describe a normal ACL using a 1T open MRI and, in particular, variations in length and insertion angles at different degrees of flexion. Twenty-one volunteers with clinically healthy knees received a dynamic MRI with their knees in hyperextension, neutral position, and flexed at 45° and 90° angles. For each position, two radiologists measured the ACL lengths and angles of the proximal insertion between the ACL’s anterior edge and the roof of the inter-condylar notch. Additionally, we measured the ACL’s and the tibial plateau’s distal angle insertion between their anterior edges and then compared these with the nonparametric Wilcoxon test. The ACL had a significant extension between the 90° flexion and all other positions (hyperextension: 31.75 ± 2.5 mm, neutral position: 32.5 ± 2.6 mm, 45°: 35.6 ± 1.6 mm, 90°: 35.6 ± 1.6 mm). There was also a significant increase of the angle insertion between the proximal 90° flexion and all other positions, as well as between hyperextension and bending to 45° (hyperextension: 2.45° ± 3.7°, neutral: 13.4° ± 9.7°, 45°: 33 25 ± 9.3, 90: 51.85° ± 9.3°). Additionally, there is a significant increase in the distal angle insertion for all positions (hyperextension: 133.2° ± 5.4°, neutral position: 134.95° ± 4.4°, 45°: 138.35° ± 5.9°, 90°: 149.15° ± 8.6°). Our study is the first to exhibit that a dynamic MRI has a significant ACL extension in vivo during bending. This concept opens the way for further studies to improve the diagnosis of traumatic ACL injuries using a dynamic MRI.
KeywordsDynamic MRI Anterior cruciate ligament Knee Open field Anatomy
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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