Hamstring grafts prove more effective in ACL knee reconstruction, study says

Feb 19, 2011

Patients receiving anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee reconstruction with a hamstring tendon graft rather than a knee tendon graft were less likely to suffer from pain and mobility issues15 years after surgery, say researchers presenting a study today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day in San Diego, California (February 19).

"While we have seen excellent results in terms of knee symptoms and function with both graft types, comparing the two definitely showed differences, "said Leo Pinczewski, MD, lead researcher and surgeon with the North Sydney Orthopaedic and Center in Wollstonecraft, Australia. "Patients with a hamstring graft reported less and discomfort and demonstrated a higher activity level."

Surgeons performing ACL aim to eliminate instability and quickly return patients to pre-injury function levels. Since ACL ruptures are relatively common, especially in , surgical procedures are routinely performed.

This study adds to Pinczewski's most recent work exploring the overall success rate of ACL knee reconstruction in athletes after 15 years. "We know that these surgeries work, but this information helps us determine which approaches can be most effective. Getting athletes back on the field is certainly important, but long term success rates are crucial as well," said Pinczewski.

The study followed 180 knee reconstruction patients, with 90 (48 men and 42 women between the ages of 15-42 years) receiving a patellar tendon (PT) graft and the other 90 (47 men and 43 women between the ages of 13-52 years) receiving a hamstring tendon (HT) graft. After 15 years, 80 percent of the PT group and 73 percent of the HT group were assessed based on their symptoms of pain, swelling and knee mobility.

The HT group demonstrated significantly higher activity levels, with 77 percent performing at least strenuous activities, compared to 62 percent being able to perform strenuous activity in the PT group. In evaluating pain when kneeling, 42 percent of the PT group patients reported moderate or greater pain, while 26 percent of the HT group reported pain. The PT group also showed worse outcomes in tests for motion loss and osteoarthritis.

Reasons for increased osteoarthritis in the hamstring tendon graft were uncertain and recommended for further investigation.

Explore further: ACG: Drug-induced liver injury mainly due to antimicrobials

Provided by American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

4 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Ebola: Five questions about the killer virus

25 minutes ago

The highly contagious Ebola virus, which has killed more than 4,500 people in west Africa since December and has fueled global alarm, is among the most dangerous ever identified.

Ebola fear, monitoring eases for some in Dallas

35 minutes ago

The people closest to Ebola victim Thomas Eric Duncan are trying to resume their lives now that they have come out of a 21-day incubation period without developing symptoms of the disease.

Third UN employee dies from Ebola

45 minutes ago

A UN staff member in Sierra Leone has died from Ebola, the third employee from the world organization to succumb to the deadly virus, the UN spokesman said Monday.

Canadian Ebola vaccine sent to WHO for testing

55 minutes ago

The first batch of an experimental Ebola vaccine developed by Canadian scientists was sent to Switzerland on Monday for testing by the World Health Organization, officials said.

User comments : 0