Background: Most of the previous comparative studies between patellar tendon and hamstring tendon anterior cruciate ligament grafts compared grafts of different constructs fixed with different methods.
Purpose: To compare patellar tendon and hamstring tendon grafts with the same fixation method used to reconstruct the anterior cruciate ligament.
Study design: Randomized controlled trial; Level of evidence, 1.
Methods: During the reconstructive procedure, the hamstring tendon graft was prepared as a bone-hamstring-bone graft; both bone-patellar tendon-bone and bone-hamstring-bone grafts were fixed with interference screws. Eighty consecutive patients who underwent anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction were randomly assigned to either bone-patellar tendon-bone or bone-hamstring-bone groups. Follow-up examinations were performed for at least 5 years postoperatively. Seventy-two of the 80 patients (37 patients in the bone-patellar tendon-bone group and 35 in the bone-hamstring-bone group) were evaluated, with a mean follow-up period of 87.0 and 80.8 months, respectively. Follow-up examinations were performed using the International Knee Documentation Committee knee ligament standard and subjective knee forms.
Results: The mean KT-1000 arthrometer evaluation results showed no significant difference between the bone-patellar tendon-bone and bone-hamstring-bone groups (1.2 +/- 2.1 mm and 1.7 +/- 1.4 mm, respectively; P = .24). However, symptoms related to graft harvest (anterior kneeling pain) were more frequently observed in the bone-patellar tendon-bone group, and unsatisfactory results were correlated with severe kneeling pain in 3 patients from this group (P = .0056). Significant hamstring muscle weakness without complaint of functional deficit was found in the bone-hamstring-bone group (P = .0045).
Conclusion: Bone-hamstring-bone grafts were shown to reduce the risk of problems at the graft harvest site compared to bone-patellar tendon-bone grafts, with comparable results in the remaining clinical parameters tested.