My daughter is 16 years old and has recent torn her ACL. I have been doing research on the different graft options, and what is the best choice?


One of the most important things to consider when having an ACL reconstruction is what tissue to use as the graft. In a recent article out by Lynch et al there is some data about this from the Multicenter Orthopaedic Outcomes Network, which is a large, multi-center, collection of data from thousands of ACL reconstructions. In this article they discus the importance of choice of graft with successful outcomes. They found that the choice of graft and the patients age were the most predictive variables. Use of an allograft (donor or someone else’s tissue) had a four times greater risk of re-rupture than when an autograft (patients own tissue) was used. Re-rupture was more likely in the age group ten to nineteen and then every ten years the risk decreased slightly. The take home message is that for younger patents the best choice is autograft, with the least chance for re-tear. They did not discuss any differences between the two most common autograft choices; patella tendon and hamstring tendon, so on this point I would recommend you discuss this further with your surgeon.