Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction autograft choice: bone-tendon-bone versus hamstring: does it really matter? A systematic review.

Spindler KP, Kuhn JE, Freedman KB, Matthews CE, Dittus RS, Harrell FE
Am J Sports Med. 2004 32 (8): 1986-95

PMID: 15572332 · DOI:10.1177/0363546504271211

Anterior cruciate ligament graft choice is controversial, with no evidence-based consensus available to guide decision making. The study design was evidence-based medicine systematic review of randomized controlled trials evaluating patellar tendon versus hamstring tendon autografts. A literature review identified 9 randomized controlled trials comparing patellar tendon and hamstring tendon autografts. An evidence-based systematic review was performed. Objective and subjective outcomes of interest included surgical technique, rehabilitation, instrumented laxity, isokinetic strength, patellofemoral pain, return to preinjury activity, and Tegner, Lysholm, Cincinnati, and International Knee Documentation Committee-1991 scores. Additional surgery, graft failure, and complications were reviewed. Slight increased laxity on arthrometer testing was seen in the hamstring population in 3 of 7 studies. Pain with kneeling was greater for the patellar tendon population in 4 of 4 studies. Only 1 of 9 studies showed increased anterior knee pain in the patellar tendon group. Frequency of additional surgery seemed to be related to the fixation method and not graft type. No study reported a significant difference in graft failure between patellar tendon and hamstring tendon autografts. Objective differences (range of motion, isokinetic strength, arthrometer testing) were not detected between groups in the majority of studies, suggesting that their sensitivity to detect clinical outcomes may be limited. Increased kneeling pain in the patellar tendon group was seen consistently in the studies evaluated. Subjective differences in anterior knee pain or return-to-activity level were not consistently observed in these studies. With numbers available, failure rates were not significantly different between groups. These findings suggest that graft type may not be the primary determinant for successful outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament surgery.

MeSH Terms (9)

Anterior Cruciate Ligament Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries Humans Patella Postoperative Complications Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic Tendons Tendon Transfer Transplantation, Autologous

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