In this study, we aimed to develop an in-silico synthesis of the effect of critical surgical design parameters on articular contact behavior for a bone-patellar-tendon-bone anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL-R) surgery. A previously developed finite element model of the knee joint consisting of all relevant soft tissues was employed. The knee model was further updated with additional features to develop the parametric FE model of the biomechanical experiments that depicted the ACL-R surgery. The parametricity was created involving femoral tunnel architecture (orientations and locations) and graft fixation characteristics (pretension and angle of fixation). A global sensitivity analysis based on variance decomposition was used to investigate the contribution of the surgical parameters to the uncertainty in response to the ACL-R joint. Our examinations indicated that the total contact force was primarily influenced by either combined or individual action of the graft pretension and fixation angle, with a modest contribution of the graft insertion sites. The joint contact center and area were affected mainly by the angle of fixation and the tunnel placements. Graft pretension played the dominant role in the maximum contact pressure variability, an observation that has been well-documented in the literature. Interestingly, the joint contact behavior was almost insensitive to the tunnel’s coronal and sagittal orientations. Our data provide an evaluation of how the surgical parameters affect the knee joint’s contact behavior after ACL-R and may provide additional information to better explain the occurrence of osteoarthritis as an aftermath of such surgery.
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