Increased knee laxity with hamstring tendon autograft compared to patellar tendon autograft: a cohort study of 5462 patients with primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction.


Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Stockholm Sports Trauma Research Center, Karolinska Institutet, Solna, Sweden. [Email]


OBJECTIVE : To compare anterior knee laxity and patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) between anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) performed with bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) and hamstring tendon (HT) autografts and, moreover, to study any correlation between postoperative anterior knee laxity and PROMs.
METHODS : Patients who underwent primary ACLR at Capio Artro Clinic, Stockholm, Sweden, from January 2000 to October 2015, were identified in our local database. Instrumented laxity measurements and PROMs were reviewed. The KT-1000 arthrometer, with an anterior tibial load of 134-N, was used to evaluate knee laxity preoperatively and at the 6-month follow-up. The Lysholm score was collected preoperatively and at 6 months postoperatively. The Knee injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS) was collected preoperatively and at the 1-year follow-up.
RESULTS : A total of 5462 primary ACLRs, 692 BPTBs and 4770 HT autografts were included in the study. All the patients showed a significant reduction in knee laxity from preoperatively to postoperatively (BPTB group: from 3.8 ± 2.6 to 1.2 ± 2.1 mm; HT group: from 3.6 ± 3.1 to 1.8 ± 2.2 mm; P < 0.001 for both). The HT group showed a significantly increased postoperative knee laxity compared with the BPTB group (1.8 ± 2.2 vs 1.2 ± 2.1 mm; P < 0.001). The mean anterior tibial translation (ATT) reduction from preoperative to postoperative was significantly larger for the BPTB graft compared with the HT graft (2.7 ± 2.2 vs 1.7 ± 2.6 mm; P < 0.001). A significantly higher rate of "surgical failures", defined as a postoperative side-to-side (STS) difference > 5 mm, was found in the HT group compared with the BPTB group at follow-up (4.3 vs 2.4%; P < 0.001). A significantly larger improvement was found in the HT group compared with the BPTB group for the KOOS Pain (9.5 vs 8.0; P = 0.02), Activities of Daily Living (7.2 vs 5.7; P = 0.006), Sports (24.2 vs 15.3; P < 0.001) and Quality of Life (25.8 vs 22.1; P = 0.001) subscales. No significant difference regarding the mean improvement in the Lysholm knee score was found between the two grafts (BPTB group: 14.5, HT group: 14.0; n.s.). No correlation between postoperative anterior knee laxity and PROMs was found in either graft group.
CONCLUSIONS : Primary ACLR performed with HT autograft resulted in greater postoperative anterior knee laxity and significantly more surgical failures (STS > 5 mm) compared with BPTB autograft. The BPTB autograft showed a larger anterior knee laxity reduction (ATT reduction) in conjunction with primary ACLR. The HT autograft led to a significantly larger improvement in four of five KOOS subscales from preoperatively to the 1-year follow-up, compared with BPTB autograft. There was no association between postoperative anterior knee laxity and PROMs for either graft. The findings of the present study provide clinicians with valuable information regarding differences in knee laxity and subjective knee function between BPTB and HT autograft after primary ACLR. The use of BPTB autograft should be considered for patients with high knee stability demands.
METHODS : Retrospective cohort study, Level III.


ACL reconstruction,Anterior cruciate ligament,Graft,Hamstring,KOOS,Laxity,Lysholm,Outcome,Patellar tendon,

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