Purpose: The purpose of this study was to reveal the degree of muscle recovery and report the clinical results of anatomical single-bundle ACL reconstruction using a quadriceps autograft.
Methods: Twenty subjects undergoing anatomical single-bundle ACL reconstruction using a quadriceps autograft were included in this study. A 5-mm-wide, 8-cm-long graft, involving the entire layer of the quadriceps tendon, was harvested without bone block. The average graft diameter was 8.1 ± 1.4 mm. An initial tension of 30 N was applied. The femoral tunnel was created from the far-medial portal. Each femoral and tibial tunnel was created close to the antero-medial bundle insertion site. For the evaluation of muscle recovery (quadriceps and hamstring), a handheld dynamometer was used. The evaluation of muscle recovery was performed pre-operatively, and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after surgery. Muscle recovery data were calculated as a percentage of leg strength in the non-operated leg. Anterior tibial translation (ATT), pivot shift test, and IKDC score were evaluated.
Results: The average quadriceps strength pre-operatively, and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after ACL reconstruction was 90.5 ± 19, 67.8 ± 21.4, 84 ± 17.5, and 85.1 ± 12.6 %, respectively. The average hamstring strength pre-operatively, and at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months after ACL reconstruction was 99.5 ± 13.7, 78.7 ± 11.4, 90.5 ± 19, and 96.7 ± 13.8 %, respectively. ATT pre-operatively and at 12 months after surgery was 5.4 ± 1.3 and 1.0 ± 0.8 mm, respectively. No subjects exhibited positive pivot shift after surgery. Within 6 months following surgery, quadriceps hypotrophy was observed in all subjects. However, the hypotrophy had recovered at 12 months following surgery. No subjects complained of donor site pain after surgery.
Conclusion: Anatomical single-bundle ACL reconstruction using a quadriceps autograft resulted in equivalent level of muscle recovery and knee stability when compared with previously reported ACL reconstruction using hamstrings tendon with no donor site complications.
Level of evidence: Case controlled study, Level III.
Keywords: Anatomical; Anterior cruciate ligament; Muscle recovery; Quadriceps tendon.