The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is important for maintaining stability in the knee joint. Over 175,000 people in the United States experience ACL injuries each year. Surgical ACL repairs typically use autografts (tissue from the patient) or allografts (from a non-self source). The purpose of the study was to compare the success rates of allograft versus autograft ACL repair specifically in adolescents as this group has not previously been studied. Patients underwent reconstructive surgery between July 2005 and July 2009 at Children’s Hospital Colorado (n=115 total; autograft: n=67, 15.48 ± 1.70 yr, 40 male, 27 female; allograft: n= 48, 15.38 ± 2.34 yr, 22 male, 26 female). A chart review was performed to review surgical details and each patient was contacted to complete a phone survey and outcome scores rating the function of this knee. There were no significant differences in graft failure rates between allograft and autograft groups (22.92% vs 13.43%, respectively; p = 0.31). Age at surgery, graft size, gender, delay in surgery, history of a previous knee injury and/or concurrent procedures also did not influence graft survival. Interestingly, the risk of graft failure in the autograft group remained constant 24-36 months post-operatively whereas the risk of failure in the allograft group continued to rise. Based on the results of this study, no differences were found with regard to graft survival rates for allograft versus autgraft ACL repair or patient’s return to pre-surgery activity levels.
Kirtley Hitt, ’12
Majors: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Kinesiology
Sponsor: Jennifer Rogers Fagenbaum