Concomitant soft tissue injury resulting from knee instability following cruciate rupture is a serious clinical problem. To study this injury mechanism, the biomechanical properties of the lateral collateral ligament were measured at 0, 4, 8, 12, and 16 weeks post-operatively in rabbits having the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments sectioned. No significant changes were found in the ligament’s cross-sectional area, tensile mechanical response, or in its hexosamine content. The predominant mode of ligament failure was by bone avulsion at the insertion sites (78 percent) with 86 percent of paired limbs failing in a similar manner.

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