Functional Capability is Enhanced with Semitendinosus than Patellar Tendon ACL Repair

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Abstract

Purpose

To identify patients’ functional capabilities after reconstruction of the ACL with a patellar or semitendinosus tendon autograft.

Methods

Forty male soccer players volunteered for the study and were assigned to three homogeneous groups: individuals who had patellar tendon reconstruction (N = 15), individuals who had semitendinosus tendon reconstruction (N = 15), and a control group (N = 10). All patients had undergone surgery 2 yr before this study and received the same rehabilitation training. The testing procedures included measurement of thigh circumference, maximal isometric strength of quadriceps and hamstrings, two- and one-legged jump, squat and gait analysis. Kinetic, kinematic, and electromyographic data were collected.

Results

The patellar tendon group exhibited lower (P < 0.05) coactivation of the agonist and antagonist muscles around the knee joint during the squat movement and lower stabilization- and landing degrees during the jumps. Furthermore, the patellar tendon group had a shorter stance phase and reached the first vertical maximum later with the impaired leg while walking (720.2 ± 15.6 ms vs 740.3 ± 14.3 ms, and 24.3 ± 0.64% vs 22.9 ± 0.74% of stance phase), which was not observed in the semitendinosus tendon and control groups.

Conclusion

Functional performance is compromised in patients who undergo a patellar tendon graft compared with a semitendinosus graft, possibly due to an altered activation of the quadriceps and hamstring muscles.

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