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Cell Tissue Bank. 2014 Dec;15(4):523-9. doi: 10.1007/s10561-014-9421-5. Epub 2014 Jan 11.

Quadriceps tendon allografts as an alternative to Achilles tendon allografts: a biomechanical comparison.

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  • 1Community Tissue Services, 2900 College Dr., Kettering, OH, 45420, USA,


Quadriceps tendon with a patellar bone block may be a viable alternative to Achilles tendon for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACL-R) if it is, at a minimum, a biomechanically equivalent graft. The objective of this study was to directly compare the biomechanical properties of quadriceps tendon and Achilles tendon allografts. Quadriceps and Achilles tendon pairs from nine research-consented donors were tested. All specimens were processed to reduce bioburden and terminally sterilized by gamma irradiation. Specimens were subjected to a three phase uniaxial tension test performed in a custom environmental chamber to maintain the specimens at a physiologic temperature (37 ± 2 °C) and misted with a 0.9 % NaCl solution. There were no statistical differences in seven of eight structural and mechanical between the two tendon types. Quadriceps tendons exhibited a significantly higher displacement at maximum load and significantly lower stiffness than Achilles tendons. The results of this study indicated a biomechanical equivalence of aseptically processed, terminally sterilized quadriceps tendon grafts with bone block to Achilles tendon grafts with bone block. The significantly higher displacement at maximum load, and lower stiffness observed for quadriceps tendons may be related to the failure mode. Achilles tendons had a higher bone avulsion rate than quadriceps tendons (86 % compared to 12 %, respectively). This was likely due to observed differences in bone block density between the two tendon types. This research supports the use of quadriceps tendon allografts in lieu of Achilles tendon allografts for ACL-R.

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