Purpose: The aim of the present study was to evaluate and compare objective and subjective outcome in patients 2 and 5 years after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with either bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) or hamstring grafts. The second aim was to report the prevalence of re- and contralateral ACL ruptures.
Methods: Sixty-eight patients (BPTB, n = 34 and hamstring graft, n = 34) were evaluated preoperatively, 2 and 5 years after ACL reconstruction. Anterior knee laxity and rotational knee joint stability, muscle torque, hop length, anterior knee pain, activity level and self-reported knee function and quality of life were evaluated within and between groups. The prevalence of re- and contralateral ACL ruptures was also recorded.
Results: No significant difference in anterior knee laxity, rotational knee joint stability, hop length anterior knee pain or knee function and quality of life were noted at the 5-year follow-up. No significant differences in concentric or eccentric quadriceps torque at 90°/s and 230°/s were found at any of the follow-ups between and within grafts. A significant group difference in hamstring torque 1.05 (0.02) for BPTB and 0.89 (0.02) for hamstring grafts, and in hop length (leg symmetry index) follow-up 0.94 (0.07) for BPTB compared to 0.99 (0.07) for hamstring grafts (P = 0.002) was found at the 2 year follow-up in favour of the BPTB graft, but not at the 5 year follow-up. A significant improvement over time, irrespective of graft, was found in the KOOS's subscales Sport/Rec and quality of life (P < 0.001). None of the patients, irrespective of group, returned to their pre-injury level of sport (P < 0.05). Over the five postoperative years, one man and eight women (13 %) (hamstring graft, n = 5 and BPTB graft, n = 4), sustained a total of 11 (16.2 %) new ACL ruptures: seven (10.2 %) re-ruptures and four (5.9 %) ruptures of the contralateral ACL.
Conclusions: At the 5-year follow-up, there were no significant differences in terms of anterior knee laxity, rotational knee joint stability, muscle torque, anterior knee pain, hop performance, quality of life or activity level between patients who had undergone reconstruction with BPTB or hamstring grafts. None of the patients, irrespective of group, had returned to their pre-injury level of activity. Eight out of the nine patients who had sustained a second ACL rupture were women.