Background: Multiple studies have reported that allografts are acceptable alternatives to autografts for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions. Our clinical practice allows patient involvement in graft decision-making. This study examined the patients' preference for graft selection and the factors affecting their decision.
Methods: Patients scheduled to undergo an ACL reconstruction surgery (n = 129) at a university medical center in Korea were enrolled in this study. Information leaflets with graft descriptions were provided prior to hospital admission, and the patients were allowed to choose one of two surgical graft types. The patients were asked to complete a questionnaire that reflected their decision-making processes, and the patients' trends and factors affecting their choice of graft were analyzed based on their responses.
Results: Most patients (54.3%) selected autografts for the ACL reconstruction. The surgeon's explanation was the most important factor affecting the final patient decision followed by the information derived from Internet searches. Patients who derived the majority of their understanding of the graft types from the Internet chose allografts at significantly higher rates.
Conclusions: Patient graft selection is a reasonable way of designating the type of surgical procedure. Most patients selected autografts for their ACL reconstruction. However, patients who performed significant Internet-based research tended to prefer allografts.
Keywords: Anterior cruciate ligament; Graft; Patient preference; Reconstruction.