To determine the effects of increasing anterior-posterior (A-P) tibial slope on knee kinematics and in situ forces in the cruciate ligaments.

Ten cadaveric knees were studied using a robotic testing system using three loading conditions: (1) 200 N axial compression; (2) 134 N A-P tibial load; and (3) combined 200 N axial and 134 N A-P loads. Resulting knee kinematics were determined before and after a 5-mm anterior opening wedge osteotomy. Resulting in situ forces in each cruciate ligament were determined.

Tibial slope was increased from 8.8 +/- 1.8 degrees to 13.2 +/- 2.1 degrees, causing an anterior shift in the resting position of the tibia relative to the femur up to 3.6 +/- 1.4 mm. Under axial compression, the osteotomy caused a significant anterior tibial translation up to 1.9 +/- 2.5 mm (90 degrees ). Under A-P and combined loads, no differences were detected in A-P translation or in situ forces in the cruciates (intact versus osteotomy).

Results suggest that small increases in tibial slope do not affect A-P translations or in situ forces in the cruciate ligaments. However, increasing slope causes an anterior shift in tibial resting position that is accentuated under axial loads. This suggests that increasing tibial slope may be beneficial in reducing tibial sag in a PCL-deficient knee, whereas decreasing slope may be protective in an ACL-deficient knee.

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