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The outcome at 15 years of endoscopic anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using hamstring tendon autograft for ‘isolated’ anterior cruciate ligament rupture

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The purpose of this study was to report the outcome of ‘isolated’ anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) ruptures treated with anatomical endoscopic reconstruction using hamstring tendon autograft at a mean of 15 years (14.25 to 16.9). A total of 100 consecutive men and 100 consecutive women with ‘isolated’ ACL rupture underwent four-strand hamstring tendon reconstruction with anteromedial portal femoral tunnel drilling and interference screw fixation by a single surgeon. Details were recorded pre-operatively and at one, two, seven and 15 years post-operatively. Outcomes included clinical examination, subjective and objective scoring systems, and radiological assessment. At 15 years only eight of 118 patients (7%) had moderate or severe osteo-arthritic changes (International Knee Documentation Committee Grades C and D), and 79 of 152 patients (52%) still performed very strenuous activities. Overall graft survival at 15 years was 83% (1.1% failure per year). Patients aged < 18 years at the time of surgery and patients with > 2 mm of laxity at one year had a threefold increase in the risk of suffering a rupture of the graft (p = 0.002 and p = 0.001, respectively). There was no increase in laxity of the graft over time.

ACL reconstructive surgery in patients with an ‘isolated’ rupture using this technique shows good results 15 years post-operatively with respect to ligamentous stability, objective and subjective outcomes, and does not appear to cause osteoarthritis.

Correspondence should be sent to Mr L. A. Pinczewski; e-mail:

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