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Online ISSN 1827-1707
Marquass B. 1, Engel T. 2, Theopold J.-D. 1, Von Dercks N. 1, Josten C. 1, Hepp P. 1
1 Department of Trauma, Reconstructive and Plastic Surgery University Hospital Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany;
2 Department of Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgery St. Elisabeth Hospital, Leipzig, Germany
AIM: For females a higher risk of ACL-laxity after hamstring based ACL reconstruction has been described. Among other factors, greater laxity may contribute to a smaller graft size for women. The aim of this study was to investigate laxity and clinical outcome in a group of females and males after ACL reconstruction using hamstring autografts with comparable graft diameter for women and men.
METHODS: Forty-three patients (18 females, 25 males) met the inclusion criteria and were prospectively studied with a final follow-up after one year. Only patients with isolated ACL reconstruction without accompanying injuries were involved. All patients received the same technique, including tibial and femoral interference screw fixation. We aimed for a graft diameter of at least 7 mm. Rehabilitation was the same for all patients. Follow-up took place at 6 weeks, then at 3, 6 and 12 months.
RESULTS: Due to the minimum graft diameter of 7 mm, 44% of males and 61% of females received semitendinosus and gracilis grafts. Mean graft diameter was 8.1±0.2 for women and 8.1±0.5 mm for men. After 12 months, women had a mean AP translation of 7.7±2.1 mm and men 7.8±2 mm. No gender differences were found in clinical scoring; furthermore, we observed no correlation between scoring and AP laxity.
CONCLUSION: The same amount of laxity and clinical results can be expected in female and male patients undergoing anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction with hamstring tendon grafts one year after surgery when both genders receive grafts of comparable diameter.