A comparison of quadruple semitendinosus and patellar tendon grafts in reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament

J Bone Joint Surg Br. 2001 Apr;83(3):348-54. doi: 10.1302/0301-620x.83b3.11685.


In a two-centre study, 164 patients with unilateral instability of the anterior cruciate ligament were prospectively randomised to arthroscopic reconstruction with either a patellar tendon graft using interference screw fixation or a quadruple semitendinosus graft using an endobutton fixation technique. The same postoperative rehabilitation protocol was used for all patients and follow-up at a median of 31 months (24 to 59) was carried out by independent observers. Four patients (2%) were lost to follow-up. No significant differences were found between the groups regarding the Stryker laxity test, one-leg hop test, Tegner activity level, Lysholm score, patellofemoral pain score, International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score or visual analogue scale, reflecting patient satisfaction and knee function. Slightly decreased extension, compared with the non-operated side, was found in the patellar tendon group (p < 0.05). Patients with associated meniscal injuries had lower IKDC, visual analogue (p < 0.01) and Lysholm scores (p < 0.05) than those without such injuries. Patients in whom reconstruction had been carried out less than five months after the injury had better final IKDC scores than the more chronic cases (p < 0.05). We conclude that patellar tendon and quadruple semitendinous tendon grafts have similar outcomes in the medium term. Associated meniscal pathology significantly affects the final outcome and early reconstruction seems to be beneficial.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plastic Surgery Procedures / methods
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tendons / transplantation*
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Treatment Outcome