When deciding to have ACL reconstructive surgery, the type of graft used to reconstruct the ACL can be one of the most difficult questions for patients do answer. Different surgeons have preferences, and patients sometimes have preferences. So what does the research show?
A recent study found similar results when comparing long-term (8 year) results in patients having either hamstrings or patellar tendon grafts. The study did not look at donor (cadaver) grafts, only ACL grafts that came from the patient having the reconstruction. The research shows that both grafts work exceptionally well, will little difference between the graft types.
The only major difference was that patients with patellar tendon grafts had more complaints when kneeling. Interestingly, there was no difference in kneecap pain, only differences when actually kneeling.
This research confirms the notion that patellar tendon and hamstring grafts are equally effective.
What type of ACL graft did you choose, and why?
Sources: Barenius B, et al. "Quality of Life and Clinical Outcome After Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Using Patellar Tendon Graft or Quadrupled Semitendinosus Graft" Amer Journal Sports Medicine vol. 38 no. 8 1533-1541