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Minimally Invasive Quadriceps Tendon Harvest

      Abstract

      Quadriceps tendon (QT) is becoming a popular graft for primary and revision ligament surgery. A subcutaneous technique for graft harvesting a QT is presented. Special closed tendon strippers were designed; these devices have 10- and 11-mm inner diameters and are stronger and sharper than regular hamstrings strippers. In the mid-line of the patellar upper pole, a 2-cm longitudinal incision is made, a 20- × 10-mm bone plug is created with an oscillating saw, and the tendon stripper is positioned and advanced into the thigh, dissecting the QT until the desired length, usually 10 cm, is obtained. The graft can be released by making a stab incision at the device’s tip or by ventrally pointing and turning the tendon stripper to amputate the graft’s end. The QT graft can be prepared in several fashions for 1- or 2-bundle ligament reconstructions. The technique was tested and refined in 3 cadaver specimens and has been used at our institution since 2003 in 18 primary posterior cruciate ligament reconstructions with no problems. This minimally invasive technique is safe, provides a consistently good-quality graft with excellent cosmetic results, and is simple and easily reproducible.

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