Second-look arthroscopy after anatomic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction: Bone-patellar tendon-bone versus hamstring tendon graft.


Department of Orhtopaedic Surgery, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Japan. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : The purpose of this study was to compare the morphological and clinical outcomes between anatomic rectangular tunnel (ART) ACL reconstruction with a BTB graft and anatomic triple-bundle (ATB) ACL reconstruction with hamstring tendon (HST) grafts.
METHODS : The anatomic ACL reconstructions were performed on 467 patients; 233 patients with ART technique and 234 with ATB procedure. ART procedure was predominantly indicated for athletes with higher motivation to return to sports and aggressiveness for muscle training. A total of 113 patients, with a mean age of 20.7 years, had consented to undergo second-look arthroscopy. The average time from ACL reconstruction to the second-look was 10.0 months. This study included 56 ART techniques and 57 ATB procedures. The grafts underwent meticulous probing, and were evaluated based on tension, graft damage, and synovial coverage. Moreover, the femoral tunnel aperture was also observed in detail to assess the space between the femoral tunnel and the graft. As clinical evaluation, knee effusion, range of motion, Lachman test, pivot shift test, KT side-to-side difference, and Lysholm score were assessed.
RESULTS : There was no significant difference in graft tension between two procedures, while HST graft in ATB procedure had more cases with graft damage (p = 0.05). Good synovial coverage was found in 98% in ART procedure and 70% in ATB procedure, showing a significant difference (P < 0.001). At femoral tunnel aperture, there were no cases with the space around BTB graft, while 33% showed the space around HST graft, again showing a significant difference (P < 0.001). There were no significant differences in clinical outcomes.
CONCLUSIONS : BTB graft with the ART procedure was superior to HST graft with the ATB procedure in morphology at second-look arthroscopy, while there was no significant difference in clinical outcomes between two procedures.

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