• ovine;
  • in vivo;
  • kinematics;
  • anterior cruciate ligament (ACL);
  • transection


The objective of this study was to use an ovine stifle joint model to assess the impact of combined transection of the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments on three-dimensional (3D) joint motion serially over 20 weeks after transection. In vivo 3D kinematics were measured in the right hind limb of eight sheep while walking on a treadmill (accuracy, 0.4 mm ± 0.4 mm, 0.4° ± 0.4°). Five sheep received surgical ligament transection and three sheep received sham surgery without transection. At 2 weeks after transection, average joint flexion at hoof strike was significantly increased (8.9° ± 3.0°), and the tibial position was significantly shifted in the anterior direction relative to the femur during midstance (4.9 mm ± 0.9 mm). By 20 weeks after transection, joint flexion had normalized, but the tibial position was significantly adducted (0.5° ± 0.7°) and shifted in the medial (2.5 mm ± 1.2 mm), anterior (5.8 mm ± 1.9 mm), and superior directions (1.6 mm ± 0.4 mm). At 2 and 20 weeks after surgical intervention, the maximal anterior tibial position was significantly increased during mid-stance in the transected group (4.9 mm ± 0. 9 mm and 5.8 mm ± 1.9 mm) compared to the sham operated group (0.2 mm ± 0.2 mm and −0.1 ± 0.1 mm). Although the anterior tibial shift was observed in all transected sheep, a high degree of variability existed between sheep, in the intitial joint position, the magnitude of the early change, the change over time, and the change at 20 weeks. In this situation statistics must be interpreted carefully, and in future studies, individual changes should be assessed in the context of individual pathological changes in order to investigate potential clinical significance. © 2008 Orthopaedic Research Society. Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Orthop Res 26:660–672, 2008