Background: Allografts offer potential advantages over autografts in anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR), including the absence of donor site morbidity, shorter operative times, improved cosmesis, and easier rehabilitation. There is limited and conflicting outcome data for ACLR with tibialis anterior allograft. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the functional outcomes of ACLR with tibialis anterior allograft.
Methods: We retrospectively evaluated primary ACL reconstructions using tibialis anterior allograft between January 2004 and December 2006. Clinical outcomes were measured by KT-1000 arthrometry, and International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), Lysholm, and Tegner scores.
Results: 19 patients were available for follow-up at a mean of 2.7 years (range: 2.0 to 3.2). One patient experienced a traumatic re-rupture that required revision and another patient was advised to undergo revision reconstruction for a failed graft. Based on IKDC and Lysholm scoring, 12 patients (63%) had good or excellent results, 4 (21%) patients had fair results, and 3 (16%) patients had poor results. The mean side-to-side difference was 2.7 mm (0 to 8.2) and the mean decrease in Tegner activity level was 1.4 (0 to 6).
Conclusion: An alarming number of patients demonstrated residual laxity after ACL reconstruction with tibialis anterior allograft. We recommend against using tibialis anterior allograft as a first choice graft for high demand patients.