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Hamstring graft incorporation according to the length of the graft inside tunnels

Abstract : BACKGROUND: Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with a quadrupled semitendinosus (ST4) graft is an evolution of the standard technique with 2 hamstring tendons (semitendinosus + gracilis [STG]). However, there is no published comparison of how well these 2 types of hamstring grafts are incorporated into the bone tunnels. Because the ST4 graft is shorter, there is less graft material inside the tunnels. PURPOSE: To use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to compare graft incorporation in the tibial bone tunnels 1 year after ACL reconstruction with either an STG graft or ST4 graft. STUDY DESIGN: Cohort study. METHODS: Sixty-two patients who underwent ACL reconstruction were enrolled prospectively: 31 with an ST4 graft and 31 with an STG graft. The same surgical technique, fixation method, and postoperative protocol were used in both groups. Graft incorporation and ligamentization were evaluated with MRI after 1 year of follow-up. The following parameters were evaluated: signal-to-noise quotient (SNQ), tibial tunnel enlargement, signal intensity at the bone-graft interface, and graft signal according to the Howell scale. The number of participants needed to show that the mean SNQ did not differ between the 2 techniques was 31 in each group (with a 1-sided alpha of 2.5% and a 1-sided beta of 10.0%). The Student t test was used to compare the distribution of continuous secondary endpoints. RESULTS: The mean SNQ was 5.2 ± 4.5 for the STG group and 5.9 ± 3.7 for the ST4 group ( P = .5100). The mean tibial tunnel widening was 93.7% ± 51.7% for the STG group versus 80.0% ± 42.9% for the ST4 group ( P = .2605). The groups did not differ in signal intensity at the bone-graft interface ( P = .7502) or in graft signal according to the Howell scale ( P = .4544). CONCLUSION: At the 1-year postoperative follow-up, incorporation and ligamentization of the STG and ST4 grafts were the same based on MRI analysis. The results were at least as good with the ST4 technique as with the standard STG technique in terms of incorporation and ligamentization.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, May 21, 2019 - 9:09:55 AM
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Etienne Cavaignac, Vincent Marot, Marie Faruch, Nicolas Reina, Jérôme Murgier, et al.. Hamstring graft incorporation according to the length of the graft inside tunnels. American Journal of Sports Medicine, SAGE Publications (UK and US), 2018, 46 (2), pp.348-356. ⟨10.1177/0363546517733472⟩. ⟨hal-02135091⟩

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