We treated 90 patients with an isolated injury to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) by reconstruction using a patellar tendon autograft and interference screw fixation. Of these, 82 (91%) were available for review at 24 months. Two grafts and two contralateral ACLs had ruptured during sport and there was one case of atraumatic graft resorption. Using the assessment of the International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), 86% of the remaining patients were normal or nearly normal. The median Lysholm knee score was 95/100 and 84% of patients were participating in moderate to strenuous activity. All had grade-0 or grade-1 Lachman, pivot-shift and anterior-drawer tests. Measurement with the KT1000 arthrometer gave a side-to-side difference of <3 mm of anterior tibial displacement in 90%. Sixty-six radiographs were IKDC grade A and one was grade B. Pain on kneeling was present in 31% and graft site pain in 44%. At 24 months after operation all patients had excellent knee stability, a high rate of return to sport and minimal radiological evidence of degenerative change. Our series therefore represents a basis for comparison of results using other techniques and after more severe injuries.