The use of multistrand hamstring tendon grafts and now hamstring tendon grafts with a bone plug to repair a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is gaining popularity.
Many studies have been done comparing the patellar tendon graft to the hamstring tendon graft. The results have been very favorable towards the hamstring tendon graft. Although the preparation of the graft takes longer, the stability of the knee afterwards may be worth it.
Patients have fewer problems at the donor site with the hamstring tendon graft. The patellar tendon graft is taken from the front of the knee causing painful kneeling afterwards. Sometimes the pain is severe. In most cases it never goes away.
Rehab is the same for both graft types. Recovery is not reported to be faster with one graft over another. Complications can occur with either method causing a delay in recovery. If no problems occur after the operation you should be back on your feet in two to four weeks. Full recovery and return to preinjury activities take longer (four to six months).