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Readers Respond: Best ACL Graft Option for You

Responses: 32


Updated August 27, 2010

From the article: ACL Surgery Graft Options
ACL grafts choice can be a challenge for patients facing ACL reconstruction. There are advantages and disadvantages of each of the graft options, and you may have different preferences than other patients. Why did you opt for a particular type of graft choice? Did your doctor recommend a particular graft type for you?

2nd acl in 7 months

My 14 years old daughter tore her acl in Feb. We chose to use a donor graft (allograft). She rehabbed hard and well. She was released to return to sport 6 months after the surgery. Her first practice back, she tore it after 30 mins back to basketball. The acl was was displaced from the tibial tunnel. The same surgeon suggested a patella tendon or another allograft so we got a second opinion. The new surgeon thinks the hamstring is the best ideanformher using her own tissue. Thoughts please? She is a seriuos basketball player.
—Guest MiaLove

My allograft failed!

I had an ACL reconstructive and meniscus surgery in July 2010 and used an allograft. After 6 months of physical therapy and over 1 year of recovery, in September 2011 I tore the same ACL and meniscus in addition to my MCL (all in the same knee as the first time). Tomorrow I'm having my second ACL reconstruction (and meniscus and MCL) surgery and I'm planning to use an autograft of my hamstring tendons. Hopefully after my surgeon harvests my hamstring, he will be happy and my knee will be stronger so that I won't need a 3rd revision!!
—Guest Celine

Pateller graft was best choice

I was 48 and tore my ACL during february of 2012. I visited one Dr who had done rotator surgery for me and he suggested cadaver ligament. I went to a Clinic that had done several years of study on Pateller grafts and the success rate. I went to that clinic and had the pateller graft. Even though it meant more invasive surgery and longer recovery, I listened to the DR and my athletic trainer and within two months I was able to run 20 to 40 yards and ride bikes. The stair climbing after two months is still a little painful and it seems during this spring that when temps went from 50 to 80 and back again that I had some pain but if you work through the pain and do what the DR tells you on a Pateller graft it will be the best surgery to repair the ACL.
—Guest Ron Brown

Donor tissue.

In 2006 I tore the left ACL as well as both meniscus. At the end of 2011 I tore the right ACL. Both times My Doctor used donor tissue. In rehab now and if goes as well as 2006 i'll be very satisfied.
—Guest Tom C

ACL both knees

25 yrs. ago I had a complete ACL tear on my right knee. My surgeon used my hamstring to repair this, as I was a very strong athlete, and participated in various sports. Wonderful results. Now , ...24 yrs. later, a incur a complet tear of the left acl. Opted for an allograft due to my age. Doing very well post -op 7 mos. Still have some pain in the bone(tibia), but am doing as well as I can expect at this time. Haven't attempted any sports yet however!
—Guest J.Cruz

2nd tear, same choice?

I tore my ACL and medial meniscus in my right knee at age 15. I had the patellar tendon replacement because I was very active in a wide range of sports and it was what my doc recommended. Rehab was indeed a long tough process, but I have no lingering issues at all. 16 years later I tear the ACL in my left knee and am now weighing my options for reconsturction. Because of the success of the right knee, I'm leaning towards the patellar tendon again however I'm somewhat worried about the recovery time and getting back to work. Recent research has shown that some 25% of allografts fail in patients under 40. Not sure the speedy recovery is worth the potential to have to go through this again...
—Guest Amanda


Just had allograft done 2 weeks ago. October 2011. Excellent surgeon. I am already walking with full extension and haven't used the crutches since day 1. My range of motion is 165 degrees and I feel great. So glad I didn't mess with my hamstring or my patellar tendon! Stairs make me a little nervous and my knee feels tight right when I wake up or when I sit for awhile. I use the ice machine every night.
—Guest Rebecca

ACT, patellar tendon graft

I had surgery on august 23rd 2011. I spent hours checking google for input from others that decided to go with Patella graft and didn't hear any bad comments nor input. I hope everything goes well since i do want to join the army once this heals the only problem i having is it's been 1 month 3 days I still hurt i can't put any weight on my knee and still can't bend which is frustrating me. The therapist is telling me i should be at more then 70 Degrees , but i feel when i bend my knee is tight there for It will not allow me to go further I hope things get better and good luck to those who decided to use their own graft , I personally would hate to have some one else graft in me.
—Guest foxtrot

3rd ACL

I have now ruptured my ACL for the 3rd time and will look to do allograft. Hamstring was my first and lapsed after a year of committed rehab. Hamstring never healed either. 2nd was patellar and lasted for couple years until recent injury. Out of other two I'd recommend patellar
—Guest Douche

bad surgery experience

My left patella tendon was used to repair my right acl post surgery the patella tendon ruptured I have lived in pain ever since I wish I was told other options I probably would've used a hamstring , 7 years later the quad muscle rupture my left knee is basically a mess I am 54
—Guest marge


I tore my ACL about 6 weeks ago and recently had the surgery. When I met with the surgeon, he recommended the allograft due to my age, 50. This would be less invasive., less painful and quicker healing. He told me that if he was to tear his ACL, he would opt for the allograft and he is in his mid 30s. I am a fairly active female and want to remain active for years to come.
—Guest Female

ACL Alograft

I'm three weeks post op today, I tore my ACL and my PCL, doctor chose to leave the PCL as is and went with the donor graft. It is quite painful and I hug my ice pack daily, love ice! I'm off crutches for a week now and doing the therapy thing. The oddest thing that I've discovered is how much I can feel of the graft, it feels like its right behind my knee cap. I'm told that this will subside. Hopefully I can get back to work soon. My suggestion for any one considering knee surgery is to work through the pain, don't baby it. The doc is very surprised at how well I'm healing, do the exercises and save the tears for the shower. Gotta be tough, its a mind over mater kind of attitude that will help recovery.
—Guest Judy

Tibial anterioralis-donor graft.

Too my suprise, my physician choose this graft. My physical therapist stated that this is a very strong tendon, stronger than an ACL tendon. Only 4 weeks out of surgery and I am ahead on my strenth and range of motion on an accelerated rehab program. I guess I will have to follow up later to see if there are any problems.
—Guest Tracy G

Two Knees; Two Grafts

I tore both ACL's at different times in my sports career. The first tear in the left knee, was repaired with the hamstring tendon because that was the method the Surgeon I chose, used. It held up great, so when the right knee went, there was no question to use the Hamstring tendon and the same surgeon. So far after 8 and 5 years respectfully and soccer, all has held up great. Other than stiffness and weakness in the hamstring area for a few months after surgery, all went well with a good rehab. I researched the various methods and recovery shows to be quicker with a cadaver graft; the idea of not using my own tissue for repair didn’t sit well. The use of patella tendons was also a slow recovery and from what I read, kneeling on one’s knees was difficult and painful after the patella tendon was used for the graft.

ACL and PCL Allograft

I dislocated my knee in a motorcycle accident and basically tore all my ligaments in my right knee. I had the ACL and PCL repaired with Allografts, as well as reattaching the ligaments on the both sides of the knee. Decided to do the Allografts as I did not want to weaken some other part of my body. Doctors preference was Allograft. It has been exactly two months since the initial accident and nearly seven weeks since the operation. Yesterday I started walking around without the brace. Right now I can bend the knee to about 80-85 degrees and am working hard on getting it to bend further.

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