Pretensioning and preconditioning of soft tissue grafts are often performed to obviate graft stress relaxation and elongation due to viscoelastic graft properties following anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. It was hypothesized that a consensus could be identified in the current literature regarding the biomechanical effects and clinical benefits of an optimal protocol. This study found despite common trends demonstrating the effects of pretensioning and preconditioning, no clear consensus regarding an optimal protocol, magnitude, or modality could be identified within the currently available relevant literature.
Further multidisciplinary research is required before an optimal or consensus protocol can be established for soft tissue ACL reconstruction. Regardless, the current biomechanical literature demonstrates the potential clinically beneficial effects of pretensioning and preconditioning, including reduced graft elongation and greater preservation of graft tension and stiffness following fixation.