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Anatomic Double-Bundle Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction With a Hamstring Tendon Autograft and Fresh-Frozen Allograft: A Prospective, Randomized, and Controlled Study

      Purpose

      To compare the clinical outcome of anatomic double-bundle (DB) anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with a hamstring tendon autograft versus fresh-frozen allograft.

      Methods

      Between January 2010 and December 2011, in a prospective randomized study, we included 157 patients who were planned to receive anatomic DB ACL reconstruction with a hamstring tendon autograft or fresh-frozen allograft. All surgeries were performed by the same senior surgeon with the DB reconstruction technique. The fixation of femoral side grafts was by means of an EndoButton, and the tibial side grafts were fixed with a bioabsorble interference screw augmented with a staple. The same rehabilitation protocol was applied to all the patients. Patients were evaluated preoperatively and at the follow-up points. Evaluations included detailed history, physical examination, radiograph, functional knee ligament testing, KT-2000 arthrometer testing, Harner's vertical jump and Daniel's one-leg hop tests, Lysholm score, Tegner score, the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) standard evaluation form, and Cincinnati knee score.

      Results

      One hundred and twenty-one patients (Auto, 62; Allo, 59) fulfilled complete follow-up and got full clinical evaluations. The mean follow-up was 4.6 years (4.0 to 5.5 years) for both groups. No significant differences were found between the 2 groups according to the evaluations aforementioned except that patients in the Allo group had shorter operation time compared with the Auto group (P = .001). Fifty-three (85.5%) patients in the Auto group and 50 (84.7%) patients in the Allo group had a side-to-side difference of less than 3 mm. Four (6.5%) patients in the Auto group and 4 (6.8%) patients in the Allo group had a side-to-side difference of more than 5 mm. Fifty-nine (95.8%) patients in the Auto group and 55 (93.2%) patients in the Allo group were normal or nearly normal according to the overall IKDC. According to the subjective IKDC, the average scores were 90 and 89 points, respectively, for the Auto and Allo groups. The mean Lysholm and Tegner scores were 90 points and 7.9 points for the Auto group, respectively, and 89 points and 7.8 points for the Allo group, respectively. For the Cincinnati knee score, the average scores were 91 and 90 points, respectively, for the Auto and Allo groups. A total of 11.3% (7 of 62) of patients in the Auto group and 11.9% (7 of 59) of patients in the Allo group had an arthritic progression. There was no statistical difference between the 2 groups at the final follow-up.

      Conclusions

      With the anatomic DB ACL reconstruction technique, comparable objective and subjective clinical results can be achieved with the use of a fresh-frozen hamstring tendon allograft compared with an autograft.

      Level of Evidence

      Level II, prospective randomized clinical trial.
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