Despite growing popularity for non-surgical management after an ACL injury, surgical reconstruction remains the most common treatment to repair a torn ACL for an athletic population.
The grafts used in ACL surgery can be classified into four main types: autografts, allografts, xenografts, and synthetic grafts. Each type of ACL graft has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
Autografts: Autografts are grafts that are taken from your own body. The most commonly used autografts for ACL reconstruction are the hamstring tendon and the patellar bone-tendon-bone graft. The patellar tendon autograft is taken from the patient’s own knee and is the strongest type of autograft due to the fact that the bone part of the patella graft "welds" well to the bone of the knee. The hamstring tendon autograft is taken from the patient’s own leg and is less invasive than the patellar tendon autograft. The benefit of autografts is that your own tissue is used, reducing the risk of rejection or disease transmission.
Allografts: Allografts are grafts that are taken from a cadaver. The benefit of allografts is that they are readily available and do not require harvesting from the patient’s own body. However, allografts carry a higher risk of disease transmission and are not as strong as autografts.
Xenografts: Xenografts are grafts taken from animals, such as cows or pigs. The benefit of xenografts is that they are readily available and do not require harvesting from the patient’s own body or a cadaver. However, xenografts also carry a higher risk of disease transmission and rejection, and are not as strong as autografts.
Synthetic Grafts: Synthetic grafts (often referred to as a LARS graft) are made of artificial materials, such as polyester or polyethylene. The benefit of synthetic grafts is that they do not carry the risk of disease transmission or rejection, but they are not as strong as autografts and may wear out over time.
The success rate of ACL surgery is generally high with studies reporting 80-95% success rate. This success is typically measured by the patient's ability to return to their previous level of physical activity, and see an improvement knee pain and stability. Predictive factors for unsuccessful surgery include patient's age, physical condition, and complex injuries involving other structures of the knee.
In conclusion, ACL surgery has a high success rate with most patients observing a reduction in knee pain and improved stability. If you are considering ACL surgery, it is important to discuss your options to determine the best course of treatment for you. Feel free to get in contact if you would like to discuss your injury and would like a recommendation for a good specialist.
At Eastside Physio + Co, we are committed to delivering the best care to the locals of Surrey Hills and its neighbouring areas. Our skilled and experienced surrey hills physios are dedicated to supporting the well-being of our clients, who come from a variety of nearby suburbs, including Ashwood, Ashburton, Auburn, Balwyn, Blackburn, Box Hill, Burwood, Camberwell, Canterbury, Doncaster and Hawthorn.