Home Blog ACL Reconstruction: hamstring or patella tendon autograft?
ACL Reconstruction: hamstring or patella tendon autograft?
Saturday, 21 August 2010 00:00




Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) injuries are quite common. Historically, young athletes have been treated with bone-patellar tendon-bone autografts, but more and more athletes are being treated with hamstring autograft now. It has been unclear whether either graft consistently allows athletes to return to pre-injury levels of play.


A case study performed at the University of Pittsburgh (Drs Freddie Fu and Christopher Harner) and presented at the 2010 Arthroscopy Association of North America  (AANA) Meeting reported that there are similar outcomes regardless of which graft was used.


Patients who underwent the hamstring procedure had higher patient-reported outcomes and less loss of extension, while those in the patella tendon group had a slightly higher rate of return to sports. There was however a greater increase in degenerative changes (formation of arthritis) in the space behind the kneecap and in the outer aspect of the knee in those who had patella tendon autograft.


In my opinion, more and more surgeons are performing hamstring autograft because of concern for complications associated with patella tendon autograft: anterior knee pain, patella fracture, patella tendon rupture, increased risk of arthritis, and loss of motion. However, I believe that both procedures are acceptable and when done by an experienced surgeon on an appropriate patient, the outcomes are equally good.


Add comment

Security code