Reconstruction of the ACL with a semitendinosus tendon graft: a prospective randomized single blinded comparison of double-bundle versus single-bundle technique in male athletes

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2008 Mar;16(3):232-8. doi: 10.1007/s00167-007-0480-z. Epub 2008 Jan 12.


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction in double-bundle technique is advocated to more closely restore the anatomy and function of the native ligament than conventional single-bundle technique. But up to now there are only a few clinical investigations comparing both techniques in a prospective manner. We hypothesized that double-bundle ACL reconstruction reveals superior clinical and subjective results compared to single-bundle technique in a high-demand collective. A total of 50 male patients (mean age 29.4 years) were prospectively randomized consecutively into one of the two reconstruction techniques. Group 1 (SB) underwent a 4-stranded single-bundle reconstruction with a ST graft in femoral position at 10:00 and 02:00 o'clock, respectively. In group 2 (DB), reconstruction was performed by using a 2-stranded ST graft with double-bundle, four tunnel technique. Before surgery and at a 2 year follow-up (range 23-25 months) patients were evaluated by the same blinded observer. There was no significant difference in the side-to-side anterior laxity-measurement with the KT-1000 between both groups. As evaluated by the pivot shift, no significant correlation could be noted (Fisher exact test P = 0.098) between rotational stability and any of the both reconstruction techniques. However, the anterior and rotational stability improved significantly at 2-year follow-up compared to preoperatively (P = 0.003) in both groups. The statistical analysis showed a significant increase for the IKDC (subjective, objective) and the Lysholm Score at final follow-up among each single technique, while we found no significant difference between the two reconstruction methods. On the basis of our investigation, we conclude that reconstruction of the ACL by a double-bundle ST graft with an extracortical anchorage can achieve excellent clinical results. But in contrast to our initial hypothesis, we could not quote any significant advantages by creating two independent bundles. Reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament in conventional single-bundle technique with a more horizontal femoral tunnel placement obtains comparable clinical results in the present high-demand collective.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
  • Athletic Injuries / surgery*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Orthopedic Procedures / methods*
  • Recovery of Function
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Transplants