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Am J Sports Med. 1993 Mar-Apr;21(2):176-85.

A comparison of patellar tendon autograft and allograft used for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in the goat model.

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Southern California Center for Sports Medicine, Long Beach Memorial Medical Center.


Similar-sized patellar tendon autografts and fresh-frozen allografts were used to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament of one knee in 40 female goats. Evaluations of the reconstructions and contralateral controls at the 6-week and 6-month postoperative periods included anterior-posterior translation, mechanical properties determined during tensile failure tests, measurement of cross-sectional area, histology, collagen fibril size and area distribution, and associated articular cartilage degenerative changes. Six months after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, the autografts demonstrated a smaller increase in anterior-posterior displacement, values of maximum force to failure two times greater, a significant increase in cross-sectional area, a more rapid loss of large-diameter collagen fibrils, and an increased density and number of small-diameter collagen fibrils compared to the allografts. Clinical significance. More surgeons are allowing their patients to return to running and sports 6 months after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. While the structural and material properties of autografts and allografts at time zero are similar, in the goat model during the first 6 months they differ. The allografts demonstrate a greater decrease in their implantation structural properties, a slower rate of biologic incorporation, and the prolonged presence of an inflammatory response. At 6 months the autograft demonstrates a more robust biologic response, improved stability, and increased strength to failure values.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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