Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare the outcomes after anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction using Achilles tendon allografts and tibialis anterior (TA) tendon allografts with respect to objective knee testing measures, second-look arthroscopy and femoral tunnel enlargement. Methods: A total of 131 patients who underwent ACL reconstruction between 2000 and 2006 were retrospectively reviewed. Achilles tendon allografts were used in 81 patients (group I). These patients were compared with 50 patients in whom TA tendon allografts were used (group II). The two groups were assessed using International Knee Documentation Committee (IKDC), Lysholm and Tegner activity scores, as well as KT-2000 testing. Second-look arthroscopic findings were evaluated. Cross-sectional area (CSA) perpendicular to the long axis of the femoral tunnel was also calculated digitally using magnetic resonance imaging. Results: No significant differences were observed between the two groups with respect to IKDC, Lysholm or Tegner activity scores or the results of laxity testing with arthrometry. Synovial coverage of more than 50 % was found in 71.1 % cases in group I and 75 % cases in group II. Mean CSA enlargement of 15 % (group I) and 38 % (group II) was detected (p = 0.017). Conclusions: The clinical results associated with Achilles and TA tendons were not significantly different. The laxity evaluation and second-look arthroscopy demonstrated no significant differences between group I and group II. However, Achilles tendon-bone plugs for femoral tunnel fixation reduced femoral tunnel enlargement compared to the TA allograft. Achilles tendon allografts for ACL reconstruction could be a reasonable option in selected patients. Level of evidence: Retrospective case series, Level IV.
- ACL reconstruction
- Achilles tendon
- Tibialis anterior (TA) tendon
- Tunnel enlargement
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine