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Reconstruction of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament with Human Allograft. Comparison of Early and Later Results*
FRANK R. NOYES, M.D.†; SUE D. BARBER-WESTIN, B.S.†, CINCINNATI, OHIO
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Investigation performed at the Cincinnati Sportsmedicine and Orthopaedic Center and the Deaconess Hospital, Cincinnati
J Bone Joint Surg Am, 1996 Apr 01;78(4):524-37
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Abstract

Sixty-eight patients who had had reconstruction of an acute rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament with either a fascia lata or a bone-patellar ligament-bone allograft returned for two follow-up evaluations, at two to four years and at five to nine years (mean, seven years) postoperatively. The early (two to four-year) results in these patients have been reported previously. The mean time between the early and the later evaluation was fifty-six months (range, twenty to ninety-six months).At the early evaluation, fifty-two (78 per cent) of the sixty-seven patients who were tested with an arthrometer at eighty-nine newtons had less than three millimeters of increased anterior-posterior displacement compared with that of the contralateral limb; at the later evaluation, fifty-four (79 per cent) of the sixty-eight patients had this finding (p = 0.97). With use of arthrometric and pivot-shift-test data, forty-eight (75 per cent) of sixty-four grafts were classified as functional at the early evaluation and fourteen (22 per cent), as partially functional; two (3 per cent) had failed. (Four grafts could not be classified because of incomplete data.) At the later examination, fifty (74 per cent) of the sixty-eight grafts were functional, thirteen (19 per cent) were partially functional, and five (7 per cent) had failed.At the early evaluation, sixty-two (93 per cent) of sixty-seven patients had no palpable patellofemoral crepitus and five (7 per cent) had moderate crepitus. At the later evaluation, fifty-one (75 per cent) of the sixty-eight patients continued to have no crepitus, sixteen (24 per cent) had moderate crepitus, and one (1 per cent) had severe crepitus. An increase in crepitus between the early and the later evaluation was found in twelve (19 per cent) of the sixty-two patients who had normal crepitus at the early evaluation. With the numbers available, no factor, such as the type of graft, associated ligamentous injury, or meniscal repair, correlated significantly with the amount of patellofemoral crepitus at either follow-up evaluation.At the early evaluation, the result was rated excellent or good for thirty-eight (60 per cent) of sixty-three patients, fair for twenty-one (33 per cent), and poor for four (6 per cent). (The result could not be rated for four patients because of incomplete data.) At the later evaluation, the result was rated excellent or good for forty-five (66 per cent) of the sixty-eight patients, fair for eighteen (26 per cent), and poor for five (7 per cent). For nine patients (13 per cent), the over-all rating deteriorated from excellent or good at the early evaluation to fair or poor at the later examination. For six patients (9 per cent), the rating improved from fair at the early evaluation to excellent or good at the later evaluation.With the numbers available, we could detect no significant decrease in anterior-posterior displacement of the knee, patellofemoral crepitus, the pain or the jumping score, or the over-all knee rating over the time-period studied. While we currently recommend arthroscopically assisted reconstruction with a bone-patellar ligament-bone autogenous graft as the first choice for an acute rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament, our study shows that favorable results can be obtained with allografts and justifies their use when the surgeon and patient choose this approach.

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    These activities have been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essential Areas and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint sponsorship of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, Inc. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
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