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Am J Sports Med. 2012 Mar;40(3):662-71. doi: 10.1177/0363546511428782. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

The biomechanical and clinical application of using the anterior half of the peroneus longus tendon as an autograft source.

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  • 1Department of Arthroscopic Surgery, Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University, 600 Yishan Road, Shanghai 200233, China.



The shortage of autogenous grafts has often times been a problem in knee ligament reconstruction. There are little data concerning the use of the anterior half of the peroneus longus tendon (AHPLT) as an autograft.


The AHPLT is a suitable graft with respect to its strength, safety, and donor site morbidity.


Descriptive laboratory study and case series; Level of evidence, 4.


The safety and efficacy of using the AHPLT as an autograft source were evaluated. A cadaveric study was first done to reveal the anatomic profile of the AHPLT, to test its failure load, and to compare it with that of the semitendinosus and gracilis tendons. Then, a cadaveric harvest study was performed to show it was safe and reproducible. The space between the tendon stripper and the peroneal nerve during harvesting of the AHPLT was evaluated. Lastly, a clinical study was performed to evaluate donor site morbidity. The preoperative and postoperative foot and ankle functions of 92 patients who underwent a variety of knee ligament reconstructions with the AHPLT were followed for more than 2 years and were then evaluated using the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) scale and the Foot and Ankle Disability Index (FADI) to determine the influence of tendon removal on ankle and foot function.


The average failure load of the AHPLT was 322.35 ± 63.18 N, accounting for 97.69% ± 19.48% and 147.94% ± 41.30% of the semitendinosus and gracilis tendons, respectively. During tendon harvesting, the distance between the head of the tendon stripper and the branching point of the deep peroneus nerve was 4.6 to 10.4 cm. The clinical study showed that the preoperative and postoperative AOFAS scores were 97.4 ± 2.0 and 97.2 ± 1.6 (P = .85), respectively, while the FADI scores preoperatively and postoperatively were 96.8 ± 2.2 and 96.9 ± 2.5 (P = .91), respectively. No signs of peroneus nerve injury, peroneus longus tendon rupture, or tendinopathy were found.


The AHPLT is acceptable for use as an autograft with respect to its strength, safety, and donor site morbidity.

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