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This article has been peer reviewed. It is the author’s final published version in Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine

Volume 5, Issue 6, June 2017, Article number e1151.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.1177/2325967117709735. Copyright © Poehling-Monaghan et al.


BACKGROUND: Much controversy still exists surrounding graft choice in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. Over the past decade, an increase in comparative studies with longer follow-up has enhanced our understanding of current graft options and outcomes.

PURPOSE: To describe the long-term comparative outcomes of ACL reconstruction with autograft bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) versus autograft hamstring (HS) ACL reconstruction with regard to clinical and radiographic outcomes.

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review; Level of evidence, 2.

METHODS: A search of the PubMed, MEDLINE, Cochrane, and Scopus databases was performed to identify studies in the English language with outcome data comparing ACL reconstruction utilizing autograft BPTB and autograft HS; only studies with a minimum 5-year follow-up were included. Outcome data included failure and complications, manual and instrumented laxity, patient-reported outcomes, and radiographic risk of osteoarthritis.

RESULTS: Twelve studies with a total of 953 patients met the inclusion criteria. Of these studies, 8 were level 1 evidence and 2 were level 2. Mean follow-up was 8.96 years (range, 5-15.3 years). No differences in graft failure or manual or instrumented laxity were seen in any studies. Lower clinical outcomes scores and greater motion loss were seen in BPTB patients in 1 and 2 studies, respectively. Two of 4 studies reporting on anterior knee pain, and 3 of 7 that recorded kneeling pain found it more frequently among BPTB patients. One study found significantly increased reoperation rates in HS patients, while another found a similar result in BPTB, and 1 study reported a significant increase in contralateral ACL tears in BPTB patients. Three of 5 studies reporting on radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis noted significantly increased rates in BPTB patients.

CONCLUSION: This systematic review comparing long-term outcomes after ACL reconstruction with either autograft BPTB or autograft HS suggests no significant differences in manual/instrumented laxity and graft failures between graft types. An increase in long-term anterior knee pain, kneeling pain, and higher rates of osteoarthritis were noted with BPTB graft use.

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