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Quadriceps Tendon Autograft ACL Reconstruction With Suture Tape Augmentation: Safe Results Based on Minimum 2-Year Follow-up MRI.

BACKGROUND: The potential intra-articular effects of ≥1 year after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) with independent suture tape augmentation (STA) are not fully understood.

PURPOSE: To investigate whether incorporating suture tape in an all-soft tissue quadriceps tendon autograft (QTA) ACLR leads to satisfactory patient outcomes while having no intra-articular side effects as determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

STUDY DESIGN: Case series; Level of evidence, 4.

METHODS: Included were 25 patients with a mean age of 19.9 years (95% CI, 17.3-22.5 years) who underwent QTA ACLR with STA between 2016 and 2019. All patients underwent MRI at ≥1 year postoperatively and had at least a 2-year follow-up (mean, 28 months [95% CI, 26.5-29.5 months]) that included physical examination with anterior laxity testing with KT-1000 arthrometer, radiographs, and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). At the final follow-up, the minimal clinically important difference (MCID) and the Patient Acceptable Symptom State (PASS) for applicable PROMs were applied to each patient. Postoperative graft and joint integrity were assessed using the Howell classification and the MRI Osteoarthritis Knee Score (MOAKS) joint effusion/synovitis grade. The Mann-Whitney U test for continuous variables and the chi-square or the Fisher exact test for categorical variables were used for statistical analyses.

RESULTS: The MRI assessment of the grafts demonstrated intact grafts in all patients. Overall, 96% of patients demonstrated grades 0 or 1 MOAKS for joint effusion/synovitis. All patient outcomes significantly improved from preoperatively to the final follow-up ( P < .001), except for the Marx score, which decreased significantly (14.2 [95% CI, 12.7-15.8] vs 9.72 [95% CI, 7.3-12.2]; P = .0014). At least 68% of the patients achieved the MCID threshold, and 92% achieved the PASS threshold for all applicable PROMs.

CONCLUSION: QTA ACLR with STA did not demonstrate adverse intra-articular changes on MRI at ≥1 year postoperatively. In addition, STA did not appear to negatively affect PROMs.

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