Performance of 5-Strand Hamstring Autograft Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in the STABILITY Study: A Subgroup Analysis

Am J Sports Med. 2022 Nov;50(13):3502-3509. doi: 10.1177/03635465221128581. Epub 2022 Oct 19.


Background: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstructions (ACLRs) with graft diameters <8mm have been shown to have higher revision rates. The 5-strand (5S) hamstring autograft configuration is a proposed option to increase graft diameter.

Purpose: To investigate the differences in clinical outcomes between 4-strand (4S) and 5S hamstring autografts for ACLR in patients who underwent ACLR alone or concomitantly with a lateral extra-articular tenodesis (LET) procedure.

Study design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 2.

Methods: Data from the STABILITY study were analyzed to compare a subgroup of patients undergoing ACLR alone or with a concomitant LET procedure (ACLR + LET) with a minimum graft diameter of 8mm that had either a 4S or 5S hamstring autograft configuration. The primary outcome was clinical failure, a composite of rotatory laxity and/or graft failure. The secondary outcome measures consisted of 2 patient-reported outcome scores (PROs)-namely, the ACL Quality of Life Questionnaire (ACL-QoL) and the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC) score at 24 months postoperatively.

Results: Of the 618 patients randomized in the STABILITY study, 399 (228 male; 57%) fit the inclusion criteria for this study. Of these, 191 and 208 patients underwent 4S and 5S configurations of hamstring ACLR, respectively, with a minimum graft diameter of 8mm. Both groups had similar characteristics other than differences in anthropometric factors-namely, sex, height, and weight, and Beighton scores. The primary outcomes revealed no difference between the 2 groups in rotatory stability (odds ratio [OR], 1.19; 95% CI, 0.77-1.84; P = .42) or graft failure (OR, 1.13; 95% CI, 0.51-2.50; P = .76). There was no significant difference between the groups in Lachman (P = .46) and pivot-shift (P = .53) test results at 24 months postoperatively. The secondary outcomes revealed no differences in the ACL-QoL (P = .67) and IKDC (P = .83) scores between the 2 subgroups.

Conclusion: At the 24-month follow-up, there were no significant differences in clinical failure rates and PROs in an analysis of patients with 4S and 5S hamstring autografts of ≥8mm diameter for ACLR or ACLR + LET. The 5S hamstring graft configuration is a viable option to produce larger-diameter ACL grafts.

Keywords: 4-strand hamstring autograft; 5-strand hamstring autograft; anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction; lateral extra-articular tenodesis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries* / surgery
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction* / methods
  • Autografts / surgery
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Hamstring Tendons* / transplantation
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / surgery
  • Male
  • Quality of Life
  • Transplantation, Autologous