ACL Failure Risks Increased in Young Patients Using Allografts

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Rising rates of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in younger athletes have forced researchers and surgeons to better analyze and investigate ways to improve treatment and longevity of the tissues used for repair. A recent study published online in Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach utilized a systematic review of 1,016 young, very active patients to compare ACL failure rates using allograft versus autograft tissues.

This is the first review to examine young, active patients and how they perform following an ACL surgery using allografts (tissue from a cadaver) or autografts (patient’s own tissue). David Wasserstein, MD, MSc, FRCSC

Rising rates of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries in younger athletes have forced researchers and surgeons to better analyze and investigate ways to improve treatment and longevity of the tissues used for repair. A recent study published online in Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach utilized a systematic review of 1,016 young, very active patients to compare ACL failure rates using allograft versus autograft tissues.

“This is the first review to examine young, active patients and how they perform following an ACL surgery using allografts (tissue from a cadaver) or autografts (patient’s own tissue). In our analysis, the pooled failure rate for autografts was 9.6% and 25% for allografts,” said lead author, David Wasserstein, MD, MSc, FRCSC from the University of Toronto.

The mean age across the studies reviewed was 21.7 years with 64% of the individuals being male. The follow-up within the studies ranged between 24 and 51 months. There appeared to be no difference in failure rates between hamstring autografts and patella tendon autografts. 463 individuals were treated with QHS autografts, 325 treated with BPTB autograft and 228 treated with various types of allografts. ACL reconstructions in these patients occurred between 1998 and 2012.

“The differences we observed in the failure rates of allografts vs autografts in young or highly active patients, will hopefully provide orthopaedic surgeons better insight in how best to use these tissues in repairing an ACL,” said Wasserstein.

Published bimonthly, Sports Health is a collaborative publication from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM), the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM), the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA), and the Sports Physical Therapy Section (SPTS). For more information on the publication or to submit a manuscript, visit http://www.sportshealthjournal.org.

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