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.
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