Addition of the Sartorius Tendon Improves Biomechanics of a Four-Strand Hamstring Anterior Cruciate Ligament Autograft

Arthroscopy. 2022 May;38(5):1584-1594. doi: 10.1016/j.arthro.2021.10.015. Epub 2021 Oct 27.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to quantify and compare the biomechanical properties and change in graft size when adding the sartorius tendon as a fifth strand to a four-strand ST-G hamstring autograft. Additionally, the sartorius tendon was tested individually to quantify its independent biomechanical properties.

Methods: Four-strand and five-strand hamstring tendon grafts were harvested from matched cadaveric knees (mean age: 81.6 ± 9.8). These matched grafts were biomechanically tested using a MTS servohydraulic test system at a rate of testing representative of physiologic tears. The mean diameter, cross-sectional area, and ultimate load to failure were quantified and compared with a one-sided, paired Student's t-test. A P < .05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: The mean diameter of the five-strand graft was significantly larger than the four-strand graft (9.30 ± .84 mm vs 8.10 ± .42 mm; P = .002). The average ultimate load to failure of the five-strand graft was 65.3% higher than the four-strand graft (2984.05 ± 1085.11 N vs. 1805.03 ± 557.69 N; P = .009) and added 14.8% to the diameter of the four strand ST-G autograft.

Conclusions: The addition of the sartorius tendon to a four-strand hamstring autograft significantly increased ultimate load to failure by 65%, graft cross-sectional area by 32%, and graft diameter by 15% compared to a traditional four-strand ST-G autograft. This information can be helpful to surgeons who wish to improve the strength of a four-strand ST-G autograft and for undersized grafts as an alternative to allograft supplementation.

Clinical relevance: The addition of the sartorius to the four-strand ST-G hamstring autograft significantly increases the ultimate load to failure and overall graft diameter, which can be particularly helpful in undersized autografts as an alternative to allograft supplementation.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries* / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction*
  • Autografts
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Hamstring Tendons* / transplantation
  • Humans
  • Tendons / transplantation
  • Transplantation, Autologous