Increasing preference to Hamstring Autograft?

Original research article here: J Knee Surg. 2017 Jan;30(1):63-69. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1579788. Epub 2016 Mar 28. Emerging Trends in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction.

Budny J1, Fox J2, Rauh M2, Fineberg M2.

Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is one of the most commonly performed and researched orthopedic procedures. As technology and comparative research have advanced, surgical practices have changed to achieve a superior outcome. Our group performed a survey of orthopedic surgeons to evaluate current practice trends and techniques as a follow-up to similar surveys performed in 1999 and 2006. In a survey between 2013 and 2014 consisting of 35 questions regarding the surgical technique, graft choice, fixation method, and perioperative care in ACL reconstruction was sent electronically to the members of the American Orthopaedic Society of Sports Medicine and the Arthroscopy Association of North America. Responses were recorded and compared with previous results. Survey responses were received from 824 active surgeons. Of the respondents, 89.4% are subspecialty trained, 98% of which in sports medicine. Preoperatively, full-knee extension was the only “very significant” factor in surgical timing. Approach preference via an arthroscopic-assisted single-incision approach predominated (89%)-similar to earlier results. Bone-patellar-tendon-bone use decreased relative to hamstring allograft at 45 and 41%, respectively. Tibial tunnel placement shifted anteriorly and femoral tunnel placement shifted posterosuperiorly as compared with the results obtained 5 years ago. Femoral drilling through a low medial portal was preferred in 47% of responses, increased from 15%. Preferred fixation on both the tibial and femoral sides was either metal or bioabsorbable interference screws. The use of transfixation pins and other devices decreased. Postoperative rehab protocols did not significantly change, 68.7% preferred full-weight bearing, 55% using a range of motion knee brace locked in extension, 66.4% starting physical therapy 1 week postoperatively, with unrestricted activity at 6 to 9 months. Overall, an increasing trend toward using hamstring autograft and drilling the femoral tunnel through an accessory portal in primary ACL reconstruction was observed. This may reflect recent literature supporting more anatomic reconstruction of the ACL. Considerations including deep venous thrombosis prophylaxis, brace use, timing of surgery, weight-bearing restrictions, physical therapy, graft choice in athletes, and return to activity remained largely unchanged.

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