Can graft choice affect return to sport following revision anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction surgery?

Claudio Legnani, Stefania Zini, Enrico Borgo, Alberto Ventura
Archives of Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgery 2016, 136 (4): 527-31

INTRODUCTION: With the increasing number of primary anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions, revision surgery has become more frequent. The purpose of the present study is to retrospectively compare the clinical outcome of contralateral hamstring tendon autografts vs. allografts for ACL revision surgery, specifically with regard to patient satisfaction, return to preinjury activity level, and postoperative functional outcomes.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between 2004 and 2011, 59 patients underwent ACL revision surgery. 44 were successfully recontacted and retrospectively reviewed at an average follow-up of 5.2 years. 23 subjects underwent revision ACL reconstruction with contralateral autogenous hamstring tendon grafts; 21 underwent allograft revision ACL surgery. Clinical, arthrometric, and functional evaluations were performed. The Tegner, Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) Subjective Knee Form were used. Objective evaluation included range of motion, Lachman test, pivot-shift test and KT-1000 instrumented laxity testing.

RESULTS: No major complications were reported. Follow-up examination showed that there were no significant differences IKDC and KOOS scores between the groups. The percentage of patients returning to pre-injury level was high in both groups. Anterior tibial translation according to manual laxity testing and as measured with KT-1000 arthrometer was not statistically different in the two groups. With regard to return to sports, patients undergoing revision surgery with autografts experienced a quicker return to sports compared to patients who underwent allograft revision surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: The use of contralateral hamstring tendon autografts for ACL revision surgery produced similar subjective and objective outcomes at 5.2 years follow-up compared to revision with allograft patellar or Achilles tendon. Patients undergoing revision surgery with autografts experienced a quicker return to sports compared to patients who underwent allograft revision surgery.

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