Patellar tendon versus hamstring tendon autografts for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: a randomized controlled trial using similar femoral and tibial fixation methods

Dean C Taylor, Thomas M DeBerardino, Bradley J Nelson, Michele Duffey, Joachim Tenuta, Paul D Stoneman, Rodney X Sturdivant, Sally Mountcastle
American Journal of Sports Medicine 2009, 37 (10): 1946-57

BACKGROUND: Controversy remains over the most appropriate graft for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

HYPOTHESIS: There is no significant difference in outcomes after 4-strand hamstring and patellar tendon autograft anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions using similar fixation techniques.

STUDY DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.

METHODS: Between August 2000 and May 2003, 64 Keller Army Hospital patients with complete anterior cruciate ligament tears were randomized to hamstring (n = 32) or patellar tendon (n = 32) autograft anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. Operative graft fixation and rehabilitative techniques were the same for both groups. Follow-up assessments included the Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation score, Lysholm score, International Knee Documentation Committee score, and Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score. Postoperative radiographs were analyzed for tunnel location and orientation.

RESULTS: Eleven women and 53 men were randomized. Eighty-three percent of the patients (53 of 64) had follow-up of greater than 2 years, or to the point of graft rupture or removal (average follow-up, 36 months). Four hamstring grafts (12.5%) and three patellar tendon grafts (9.4%) (P = .71) ruptured. One deep infection in a hamstring graft patient necessitated graft removal. Forty-five of the 56 patients with intact grafts had greater than 2-year follow-up. Patients with patellar tendon grafts had greater Tegner activity scores (P = .04). Single Assessment Numeric Evaluation scores were 88.5 (95% confidence interval: 83.1, 93.8) and 90.1 (95% confidence interval: 85.2, 96.1) for the hamstring and patellar tendon groups, respectively (P = .53). Lysholm scores were 90.3 (95% confidence interval: 84.4, 96.1) and 90.4 (95% confidence interval: 84.5, 96.3) for the hamstring and patellar tendon groups, respectively (P = .97). There were no significant differences in knee laxity, kneeling pain, isokinetic peak torque, International Knee Documentation Committee score, or Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Scores. Postoperative graft rupture correlated with more horizontal tibial tunnel orientation.

CONCLUSION: Hamstring and patellar tendon autografts provide similar objective, subjective, and functional outcomes when assessed at least 2 years after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"