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Am J Sports Med. 2004 Jan-Feb;32(1):34-8.

Does the patellar tendon normalize after harvesting its central third?: a prospective long-term MRI study.

Author information

1
Department of Orthopaedics, Norra Alvsborg County Hospital, and Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Trollhättan and Göteborg, Sweden.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The central third of the patellar tendon is the most frequently used autograft for ACL reconstruction.

HYPOTHESIS:

The patellar tendon at the donor site would look normal as seen on MRI 6 years after harvesting its central third.

METHODS:

Nineteen consecutive patients were included in the study. MRI examinations of the donor site were performed at 6 (5 to 10) weeks, 6 (6 to 8) months, 27 (24 to 29) months, and 71 (68 to 73) months postoperatively. The contralateral normal side was examined only on the first occasion.

RESULTS:

The size of the donor-site gap decreased significantly (P = 0.0001) between 6 weeks and 6 years. In most patients, a thinning of the central part of the patellar tendon was still found at 6 years. The thickness of the peripheral patellar tendon was increased, compared with the contralateral healthy side, until 2 years (P = 0.003). On all occasions, the width was increased compared with the contralateral side (P < 0.015).

CONCLUSION:

Prospective MRI examinations revealed that the patellar tendon at the donor site had not normalized 6 years after harvesting its central third. The reharvesting of the patellar tendon can therefore not be recommended.

PMID:
14754721
DOI:
10.1177/0363546503258935
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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