A comparison of the outcomes of anterior curciate ligament reconstruction with large-size graft versus reconstruction with average-size graft combined with extraarticular tenodesis

Published:January 19, 2023DOI:



      Many patients who have had anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction (R) complain of instability, inability to return to previous levels of sports activity, and possible ACL graft failure. Graft size was discovered to be an important factor in lowering ACL failure rates. Also, extraarticular tenodesis decreases recurrent instability, A comparative study was done to compare the effect of graft size and lateral external tenodesis on the recurrence of instability after ACL-R.

      Patients and methods

      A Prospective Blinded Randomized Controlled study included 100 consecutive patients who underwent ACL-R with hamstring tendon grafts in our Hospital. The patients were allocated into two groups (Group A and B) with randomization; group A received ACL-R with a large-size ACL-graft diameter of 6 strands, and group B received ACL-R of 4 strands combined with lateral extraarticular tenodesis (LET) (Modified Lemaire). Each group had fifty patients. The follow-up time was two years. They were examined for graft failure, anterolateral rotatory instability with the pivot shift test, and clinical outcomes, which were evaluated with the International Knee Documentation Committee score (IKDC) both subjective and objective.


      In this study; group A, graft failure occurred in three (6.3%) patients, a positive pivot shift test grade I was detected in eight (17.8%) patients, grade II in three (6.7%) patients, and grade III in one (2.2%) patient. The subjective IKDC score was 87.9 (± 7.19) points. The objective IKDC score was normal or nearly normal in 43 (93.4%) patients. In group B, one (2.1%) patient had graft failure, five (10.9%) had a positive pivot shift test grade I, one (2.1%) had a grade II, and no patient had a grade III. The subjective IKDC score was 91.9 (± 8.9) points. The objective IKDC score was normal or nearly normal in 44 (95.6%) patients. As regard the subjective IKDC score, there was a non-significant difference between both groups (p value = 0.465).


      Both groups showed a low ACL-graft failure rate, low anterolateral rotatory instability, and a good clinical outcome. Although there was no significant difference in subjective IKDC score between both groups, the failure rate and anterolateral rotatory instability were significantly lower in the ACL-R (4 strands) with LET combination group than in the group with the large-diameter (6 strands) graft.

      Level of evidence

      Level 1; Randomized Comparative Study.


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