Techniques for reducing anterior knee symptoms after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using a bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft

Am J Sports Med. Jul-Aug 2001;29(4):450-6. doi: 10.1177/03635465010290041201.


Seventy-five patients underwent unilateral anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with an ipsilateral bone-patellar tendon-bone autograft at our institution. The graft was harvested using a two-transverse-incision technique, and patellar and tibial bony defects were repaired with cored bone grafts collected by reaming the femoral socket and the tibial socket or tunnel. We evaluated the incidence of anterior knee pain, donor site tenderness, and sensory disturbance after use of these procedures. We also analyzed the correlation between anterior knee pain and age, sex, bone plug length, range of motion, postoperative stability, patellar tendon shortening, infrapatellar nerve injury, and the size of the patellar defect. Thirteen patients reported anterior knee pain. Donor site tenderness was detected in 10 patients and was located on the inferior pole of the patella, the tibial tubercle, or both. Sensory disturbance was found over the infrapatellar nerve area in 13 patients. Statistical analysis showed that anterior instability (side-to-side difference of >3 mm) and residual patellar bony defect (depth >2 mm) were risk factors for anterior knee pain. The results of our study suggest that cored cancellous bone grafting for complete restoration of the donor site bony defects and the two-transverse-incision technique to preserve the infrapatellar branch of the saphenous nerve contribute to prevention of anterior knee symptoms.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Arthralgia / epidemiology*
  • Arthralgia / prevention & control*
  • Bone Transplantation / methods
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Joint Instability / rehabilitation
  • Joint Instability / surgery*
  • Knee Injuries / rehabilitation
  • Knee Injuries / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain, Postoperative / epidemiology*
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Patella / diagnostic imaging
  • Patella / innervation
  • Patella / pathology
  • Radiography
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Reconstructive Surgical Procedures / rehabilitation
  • Risk Factors
  • Tendons / transplantation
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / methods
  • Transplantation, Autologous