Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the characteristics of patellar tendons (PTs) of patients who underwent anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) with hamstring tendon autograft using shear wave elastography (SWE).
Patients and methods: This prospective study was conducted between August 2017 and February 2018. We performed brightness mode (B-mode) ultrasound and SWE on 21 patients (20 males, 1 female; mean age 32 years; range, 19 to 42 years) who underwent ACLR with a single-bundle transtibial technique using quadruple hamstring autografts and 14 healthy controls (13 males, 1 female; mean age 35 years; range, 25 to 47 years). Length and thickness of the PT were evaluated with B-mode ultrasound, while elasticity values were evaluated with SWE in the patient and control groups.
Results: The mean SWE value of the patient group on the operated side was 25.30 (min-max=16.60-46.20) and on the non-operated side 23.20 (min-max=12.40-44). There were no statistically significant differences regarding PT elasticity, thickness, or length between the groups (p>0.05).
Conclusion: There were no differences regarding elasticity, length, or thickness between the operated and healthy knees detected with SWE. Upcoming research should focus on tendon biopsy and biochemical analyses for the identification of possible intrastructural changes of the tendon due to collagen synthesis after ACLR with hamstring autograft.