Purpose: Several studies compare the short- and long-term results of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction using bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) graft or double-looped semitendinosus and gracilis (DLSG) graft. However, no studies evaluate the long-term results of BPTB grafts fixed with metal interference screws and DLSG grafts fixed with the Bone Mulch Screw and the Washer Loc. This prospective randomized multicentre study has the null hypothesis that there is no difference in long-term outcome between the two procedures.
Methods: A total of 114 patients with a symptomatic ACL rupture were randomized to reconstruction with either a BPTB graft (N = 58) or a DLSG graft (N = 56). Follow-up was conducted after one, two and seven years. At the seven-year follow-up, 102 of the 114 patients (89%) were available for evaluation; however, 16 of these by telephone-interview only.
Results: Ten patients in the BPTB group and 19 patients in the DLSG group underwent additional knee surgery (P = 0.048), two and three, respectively, of these were ACL revisions (n.s.). The total flexion work was lower in the DLSG group (P = 0.001). The mean peak flexion torque and extension work, however, showed no difference between the groups. No significant differences were found between the groups regarding the Tegner activity score, the Lysholm functional score, the Knee injury and osteoarthritis outcome score (KOOS), subjective knee function, anterior knee pain or mobility. There was no significant difference in laxity between the groups on the Lachman test or the KT-1,000 maximum manual force test.
Conclusions: Both grafts and fixation methods resulted in satisfactory subjective outcome and objective stability. Both these methods can therefore be considered as suitable alternatives for ACL reconstructions.
Level of evidence: II.