JOURNAL OF ORTHOPAEDIC RESEARCH 2004
The primary purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that an in vivo model of posterolateral knee instability could be created in the rabbit and to develop a natural history model in animals. The biomechanical and gross features of the rabbit knee 12 weeks after rupture of the fibular collateral ligament (FCL) and popliteus tendon were investigated in 14 skeletally mature New Zealand white rabbits. In the operated leg both the FCL and popliteus tendon were traumatically ruptured near their respective femoral insertions and the contralateral leg served as the control. At 12 weeks, the legs were removed for analysis of healing by both gross analysis and by biomechanical testing of knee joint stability. Biomechanical testing of varus-valgus knee rotation as well as concurrent coupled external rotation was performed to measure the amount of force necessary to produce a uniform amount of displacement.