Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries are common knee problems. This is especially true for the active athlete. ACL repair is almost always needed to return to a preinjury level of sports.
Solitary ACL injuries are fairly rare. Most of the time, some of the surrounding soft tissues are also injured. This could be a torn ligament or damaged meniscus or joint cartilage. Sometimes the joint capsule has been affected, too.
Studies show that ACL-repairs have a better final result if all known damage is repaired at the same time. Just doing an ACL repair without taking care of the collateral damage has negative outcomes.
A recent study from Slovenia compared results of ACL repair using the two common graft techniques. They found that the type of graft made a difference. After five years, the patellar tendon group had much higher rates of arthritis compared to the hamstring tendon group.
The hamstring group had more meniscal problems. The conclusion of the authors was that damage to the meniscus along with ACL tear may not be as much of a problem as once thought. Choice of tendon graft seems more important.