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Good clinical scores, no evidence of excessive anterior tibial translation, a high return to sport rate and a low re-injury rate is observed following anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using autologous hamstrings augmented with suture tape.

INTRODUCTION: Augmented anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) techniques have been proposed to reduce the high reported re-injury rates and low rates of return to sport (RTS). This study reports clinical outcomes, RTS and re-injury rates in patients undergoing ACLR using autologous hamstrings augmented with suture tape.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A total of 53 patients were prospectively recruited, undergoing ACLR using hamstrings with suture tape augmentation, combined with a structured rehabilitation programme. Outcomes were collected to 24 months, including patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), KT-1000 measurements, peak isokinetic knee strength and a four hop test battery. Limb Symmetry Indices (LSIs) were calculated for performance measures, whilst RTS rates, re-tears and re-operations were presented.

RESULTS: There were no significant side-to-side differences in anterior tibial translation between the operated and non-operated knees at 6 months (p = 0.433), with no increase (p = 0.841) in side-to-side anterior tibial translation from 6 to 24 months. At 24 months, 98.0% of patients demonstrated normal (< 3 mm) or near normal (3-5 mm) side-to-side differences. LSIs for peak knee extensor torque (p < 0.0001) and the single (p = 0.001), triple (p = 0.001) and triple crossover (p < 0.0001) hop tests for distance significantly improved. All PROMs significantly improved (p < 0.0001), with 70.2% and 85.7% of patients actively participating in pivoting sports at 12 and 24 months, respectively. Three patients underwent secondary procedures for meniscal symptoms. One patient suffered an ACL re-tear (17 months), with no further ipsilateral or contralateral injuries.

CONCLUSION: ACLR with suture tape augmentation demonstrated no evidence of excessive anterior tibial translation, high-scoring PROMs, sound performance scores, a high rate of RTS and low re-injury rate.

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