Evaluation of Bone Incorporation of Patellar Tendon Autografts and Allografts for ACL Reconstruction Using CT

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Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction is a relatively common orthopedic procedure, with patellar tendon frequently a graft source. However, controversy exists regarding the decision to use autograft or allograft patellar tendon tissue. This experimental study used computed tomography (CT) to compare the percentage of bone graft incorporation following ACL reconstruction using autografts and allografts. Fifty consecutive patients undergoing ACL reconstruction were included in the study. The tibial bone plug was imaged with CT 1 week, 2 months, and 5 months postoperatively. Four images from each completed scan were analyzed for percentage of incorporation of the bone graft. The results of autograft and allograft incorporation for each of the time intervals were compared. No statistically significant difference was found in the amount of bone incorporation at the tibial bone plug 1 week, 2 months, and 5 months. Clinical concerns regarding slower or less complete healing of allograft bone tissue compared to autograft are not supported with regard to the grafts studied.

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