Outcomes and revision rate after bone-patellar tendon-bone allograft versus autograft anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction in patients aged 18 years or younger with closed physes

Arthroscopy. 2012 Dec;28(12):1819-25. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2012.06.016. Epub 2012 Oct 24.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare revision rates and outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) autografts versus BPTB allografts in patients aged 18 years or younger with closed physes.

Methods: Institutional review board approval was obtained for this study. This study included 90 consecutive patients aged 18 years or younger with closed physes who underwent primary ACL reconstruction by a single surgeon between 1998 and 2009, with either BPTB autograft (n = 70) or BPTB allograft (n = 20). Patients who had concomitant ligament injuries were excluded. Outcome measures included the Lysholm score, Tegner activity scale, and patient satisfaction (0, very unsatisfied; 10, very satisfied). Failures were defined as cases requiring ACL revision surgery.

Results: Of the 90 patients, 79 (88%) were contacted (20 of 20 with allografts and 59 of 70 with autografts). Of these 79 patients, 9 (11%) required revision ACL reconstruction. In the autograft group, 3% (2 of 59) required revision ACL reconstruction at a mean of 15.4 months (range, 13.0 to 17.7 months) after the index procedure. In the allograft group, 35% (7 of 20) required revision ACL reconstruction at a mean of 9.1 months (range, 5.3 to 12.0 months) after the index procedure. The allograft group was 15 (95% confidence interval [CI], 2 to 123) times more likely to require revision reconstruction than the autograft group (P = .001). The mean Lysholm score at follow-up was 85 (95% CI, 80.4 to 90.3) for the autograft group and 91 (95% CI, 88.1 to 97.3) for the allograft group (P = .46). The median Tegner activity scale was 7.0 (95% CI, 6.9 to 8.0) for autograft group and 6.5 (95% CI, 4.9 to 8.4) for the allograft group (P = .27). Median patient satisfaction score was 10 of 10 in both cohorts. No failures were seen in either group at 2 years postoperatively. Five of seven allograft failures occurred because of a premature return to sports.

Conclusions: No significant differences in function, activity, or satisfaction were found between allograft and autograft reconstructions in this patient population. The allograft group had a failure rate 15 times greater than that in the autograft group, with all failures occurring within the first year after reconstruction.

Level of evidence: Level III, retrospective comparative study.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / methods*
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / rehabilitation
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction / statistics & numerical data
  • Bone-Patellar Tendon-Bone Grafting / methods*
  • Bone-Patellar Tendon-Bone Grafting / rehabilitation
  • Bone-Patellar Tendon-Bone Grafting / statistics & numerical data
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Growth Plate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Motor Activity
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Recovery of Function
  • Reoperation / statistics & numerical data
  • Transplantation, Autologous
  • Transplantation, Homologous