Risk of Revision and Reoperation After Quadriceps Tendon Autograft ACL Reconstruction Compared With Patellar Tendon and Hamstring Autografts in a US Cohort of 21,973 Patients

Am J Sports Med. 2024 Mar;52(3):670-681. doi: 10.1177/03635465231222267. Epub 2024 Jan 29.


Background: The use of quadriceps tendon (QT) autografts has increased in the past 10 years. However, there remains a dearth of large studies examining the effects of graft selection on anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) that includes QT grafts.

Purpose: To evaluate the risk of subsequent surgical outcomes, including revision and reoperation, for a large cohort of patients with primary ACLR according to autograft selection.

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

Methods: Data from a US health care system ACLR registry were used to conduct a cohort study. Primary isolated autograft ACLRs were identified (2012-2021). The exposure of interest was autograft type: QT, bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB), and hamstring tendon (HT). Multivariable Cox regression models were used to evaluate the risk of aseptic revision (defined as a subsequent surgery where removal and replacement of the original graft for noninfectious reasons was required) and risk of aseptic reoperation (defined as any subsequent surgery for noninfectious reasons where the graft was left intact) according to autograft selection.

Results: The study sample comprised 21,973 ACLRs performed by 290 surgeons at 53 hospitals. QT, BPTB, and HT autografts were used in 1103 (5.0%), 9519 (43.3%), and 11,351 (51.7%) ACLRs, respectively. In adjusted models, no significant differences were observed in revision risk (hazard ratio [HR], 1.06; 95% CI, 0.60-1.89; P = .837) or reoperation risk (HR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.70-1.43; P = .993) within 4 years of follow-up when comparing QT ACLR with BPTB ACLR. Additionally, no differences in 4-year revision (HR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.34-1.12; P = .111) or reoperation (HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 0.85-1.80; P = .262) risks were observed when comparing QT ACLR with HT ACLR. HT ACLRs were noted to have a higher risk of revision (HR, 1.52; 95% CI, 1.25-1.84; P < .001) compared with BPTB ACLRs but a lower risk of reoperation (HR, 0.86; 95% CI, 0.75-0.98; P = .024).

Conclusion: In this large multicenter study using data from an ACLR registry, the authors found no difference in the risk of revision or reoperation when QT was compared with BPTB or HT autograft with the numbers available, but they did find a 1.5 times higher risk of revision when HT autograft was compared with BPTB autograft. Surgeons may use this information when choosing the appropriate graft for ACLR in their patients.

Keywords: ACLR; BPTB; graft selection; hamstring; patellar tendon; quadriceps.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Autografts
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Patellar Ligament* / surgery
  • Reoperation
  • Tendons