The Capsulo-osseus later of the deep iliotibial band exhibits non-isomterric and heterogenous characteristics through knee range of motion
Previous studies have identified the anterolateral complex (ALC) as having an important role in controlling anterolateral rotatory laxity following anterior cruciate ligament injury and subsequent reconstruction. In particular, injury to the iliotibial band (ITB) and its component deep (dITB) and capsulo-osseous (coITB) layers, have been shown to significantly correlate with different grades of the pivot-shift test in patients with acute ACL injuries. However, the kinematic properties of the capsulo-osseous layer of the ITB, throughout knee range of motion, are not fully understood.
To quantify the kinematic behaviour of the capsulo-osseous layer of the ITB through various degrees of knee flexion.
Ten fresh-frozen cadaveric knee specimens were dissected to expose the capsulo-osseous layer of the iliotibial band. Radiopaque beads were embedded, at standardized increments (12.5%, 25%, 50% and 75% of total length from proximal to distal), into the tissue and fluoroscopic images were taken from 0o to 105o of knee flexion in 15° increments. The positions of the beads were identified in each image and the length, width, and area changes of the capsulo-osseous layer were calculated. Comparisons of the total length of the anterior and posterior borders of the coITB through knee ROM were conducted using a two-way (8 knee angles by 2 borders) repeated measures analysis of variance (rm-ANOVA), whereas the effect of knee angle on isometry and total area changes was assessed using one-way rm-ANOVAs (a=0.05)
There was a significant increase in the length of the anterior capsulo-osseous layer at flexion angles greater than 15o and on the posterior border at angles greater than 75 o with changes occurring primarily at 12.5 % of the total length. In addition, at all flexion angles the length changes were significantly larger in the anterior border compared to the posterior border. Meanwhile, non-homogenous decreases in width and area were found with increasing flexion angle. The distance between the capsulo-osseous layer insertion on the distal femur and proximal tibia significantly increased from 60o-105o; maximal changes occurred at 105o (9.64 [4.12] %, p = 0.003).
The primary finding of this study was that the coITB behaved in a non-isometric fashion, with significant increases in length occurring at flexion angles greater than 15o. Moreover, these changes in length were non-homogenous across the different regions of the coITB that were investigated, with the greatest changes occurring in the proximal segments (0-25%). The data presented here suggest that coITB in flexion angles from 0o to 105o behaves in a non-isometric fashion, with the majority of its length change occurring in its proximal segment. Further quantification of the pathway that the coITB takes with respect to osseous landmarks may result in improvements in ALC procedures as an augmentation to ACL reconstruction, thereby potentially improving rotational stability and clinical outcomes.