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Arthroscopy. 2001 Nov-Dec;17(9):971-80.

Donor-site morbidity and anterior knee problems after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using autografts.

Author information

1
Departments of Orthopaedics, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Göteborg, Sweden. juri.kartus@trollhattan.mail.telia.com

Abstract

The authors review the current knowledge on donor site-related problems after using different types of autografts for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and make recommendations on minimizing late donor-site problems. Postoperative donor-site morbidity and anterior knee pain following ACL surgery may result in substantial impairment for patients. The selection of graft, surgical technique, and rehabilitation program can affect the severity of pain that patients experience. The loss or disturbance of anterior sensitivity caused by intraoperative injury to the infrapatellar nerve(s) in conjunction with patellar tendon harvest is correlated with donor-site discomfort and an inability to kneel and knee-walk. The patellar tendon at the donor site has significant clinical, radiographic, and histologic abnormalities 2 years after harvest of its central third. Donor-site discomfort correlates poorly with radiographic and histologic findings after the use of patellar tendon autografts. The use of hamstring tendon autografts appears to cause less postoperative donor-site morbidity and anterior knee problems than the use of patellar tendon autografts. There also appears to be a regrowth of the hamstring tendons within 2 years of the harvesting procedure. There is little known about the effect on the donor site of harvesting fascia lata and quadriceps tendon autografts. Efforts should be made to spare the infrapatellar nerve(s) during ACL reconstruction using patellar tendon autografts. Reharvesting the patellar tendon cannot be recommended due to significant clinical, radiographic, and histologic abnormalities 2 years after harvesting its central third. It is important to regain full range of motion and strength after the use of any type of autograft to avoid future anterior knee problems. If randomized controlled trials show that the long-term laxity measurements following ACL reconstruction using hamstring tendon autografts are equal to those of patellar tendon autografts, we recommend the use of hamstring tendon autografts because there are fewer donor-site problems.

PMID:
11694930
DOI:
10.1053/jars.2001.28979
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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