ACL Tears – Autografts vs. Allografts

Tears of the anterior cruciate ligament of the knee are devastating injuries and, unfortunately, are on the rise in incidence. There are many factors to explain this but the increase is primarily among female athletes.
The treatment of a torn ACL is surgical in young patients and in older athletes who do not want to stop competing and enjoying sports.
Two recent events have occurred which verifies that the surgical procedures done by the surgeons at The Los Angeles Orthopaedic Institute are the BEST to reconstruct the ACL.
Two long term studies have just verified that allografts are inferior compared to autografts to reconstruct a torn ACL. Allografts are tissue from a cadaver (dead body) and an autograft is from the patients’ own body. The advantages of an allograft are smaller incisions and less pain in the first week post-operatively. The disadvantage, however, is a higher FAILURE rate which is unacceptable.
We have always known that autografts are superior and we have ALWAYS recommended autografts to our athletes!
The choice of autografts is either the patients’ patellar tendon or the hamstrings. We have always preferred the patellar tendon for THREE main reasons.
#1 – The patellar tendon has bone on either side and we get bone to bone healing which is the quickest and strongest graft!
#2 –  The patellar tendon is the strongest graft!
#3 –  We do not want to sacrifice the hamstring tendons as this leads to knee weakness and stress on the reconstructed knee.
Adrian Peterson, the elite running back for the Minnesota Vikings just returned from ACL surgery and had his best running year ever. Of course he had a patellar tendon autograft which is what we have been performing in our patients over the past twenty years.
The Los Angeles Orthopaedic Institute surgeons are the orthopaedic surgeons for Calstate Northridge (CSUN) which are the only Level I Scholarship Athletes in all of the San Fernando, Santa Clarita and Antelope Valleys. The most elite athletes, coaches and trainers have selected us to perform these surgeries on their athletes for over 15 years!
We hope you maintain healthy knees but if you or a friend tears the ACL we should be your FIRST CHOICE!

Stay Healthy,
Dr. Sisto

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About djsisto
Orthopedic Surgeon at the Los Angeles Orthopaedic Institute

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