Tendon-to-bone healing of a semitendinosus tendon autograft used for ACL reconstruction in a sheep model.

V. K. Goradia, M. C. Rochat, W. A. Grana, Michael D Rohrer, H. S. Prasad

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141 Scopus citations


Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction was performed in a single hind limb of 30 sheep using a doubled semitendinosus tendon graft. Three additional animals were used as controls. Histologic and biomechanical analysis was performed from 4-52 weeks postoperatively. Perpendicular collagen fibers were found connecting the tendon graft to the bone tunnels at 8 weeks. These fibers were seen circumferentially at 12 weeks. By 24 weeks, the bone tunnel was well-defined, and no further changes were observed at 52 weeks. Tendon incorporation within the femoral and tibial tunnels was similar at each interval. Although the small sample size did not permit statistical testing, the reconstruction strength was similar up to 12 weeks (15%-19% of controls). This increased at 24 (28%) and 52 (40%) weeks. The stiffness primarily increased from 4-8 weeks (18%-39%) and 24-52 weeks (52%-82%). Up to 12 weeks, failures occurred by graft pull-out from the bone tunnel. All 24- and 52-week specimens ruptured through the intra-articular portion of the graft, further indicating sufficient graft incorporation within the bone tunnels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-151
Number of pages9
JournalThe American journal of knee surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


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