Arthroscopic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using fresh-frozen bone plug-free allogeneic tendons: 10-year follow-up

Ken Nakata, Konsei Shino, Shuji Horibe, Yoshinari Tanaka, Yukiyoshi Toritsuka, Norimasa Nakamura, Maki Koyanagi, Hideki Yoshikawa
Arthroscopy 2008, 24 (3): 285-91

PURPOSE: To evaluate the long-term outcomes following arthroscopic-assisted anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction using fresh-frozen allogeneic tendon.

METHODS: Sixty-one athletically active patients (mean age at surgery, 20.9 years) who had arthroscopic-assisted ACL reconstruction using fresh-frozen free tendon allograft underwent physical examination, instrumented laxity measurement, radiographs, and thigh muscle strength at 10 to 14 years (mean, 11.5) postoperatively, and these data were compared with results of similar measurements obtained at 2 years postoperatively.

RESULTS: Lachman test and pivot shift test were maintained as negative in 53 (87%) and 52 (85%) patients at follow-up, respectively. Quantitative measurements using the KT-2000 knee arthrometer showed 1.6 +/- 1.3 (mean +/- SD) mm in the side-to-side difference, and no more than 3 mm in 56 patients (92%) at final follow-up. All but one was assessed as normal or nearly normal by International Knee Documentation Committee score. Patient activity level was decreased at the long-term follow-up, but this change was mainly associated with changes in social context (e.g., graduation from school) rather than with knee limitations. None of the patients experienced deep infection or graft rejection. Degenerative joint disease on radiographs was seen in 13 out of 15 patients (87%) whose menisci had been excised, whereas it was observed in 12 out of 46 (26%) whose menisci had been preserved.

CONCLUSIONS: A series of 61 patients with fresh-frozen bone plug-free tendon allografts using a 2-incision technique for arthroscopic ACL reconstruction results in long-term knee stabilization and functioning among young active individuals while simultaneously avoiding graft harvest site morbidity.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level IV, therapeutic case series.

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