The semitendinosus tendon regenerates after resection: a morphologic and MRI analysis in 6 patients after resection for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Acta Orthop Scand. 2001 Aug;72(4):379-84. doi: 10.1080/000164701753542041.


Recently, the surprising observation has been made, supported by clinical and MRI findings, that the semitendinosus tendon can regenerate after being harvested in its whole length and thickness for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. We studied 6 patients with previous anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, using a quadruple semitendinosus tendon autograft. In 5 of these, physical examination and MRI showed that the tendond had regenerated. In all 6 patients, the findings were documented macroscopically by open surgical exploration and in the 5 regenerated tendons, also morphologically by biopsies. Macroscopically, histologically and immunohistochemically the regenerated tendons closely resembled normal ones with focal scar-like areas. Our present findings and earlier studies show that full length and thickness harvesting of the semitendinosus tendon in most cases result in full-length tendon regeneration with tissue closely resembling the normal tendon.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries*
  • Biopsy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Physical Examination
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Tendon Transfer*
  • Tendons / anatomy & histology
  • Tendons / physiology*
  • Tendons / transplantation*
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Autologous