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When a piece of tendon is removed and used to replace a torn tendon, is the donor site weaker?

The most common use of tendon graft is to repair the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. Donor tissue can come from the hamstrings tendon behind the knee or from the patellar tendon just below the kneecap. In either case, the doctor uses a special tool to harvest the tissue. This is called a tendon stripper. This device helps the doctor remove just the right amount and shape of tissue. The gap in the donor tendon is closed using absorbable stitches. The patient must be careful not to overstress this site during healing. This usually takes around six weeks. Itís about the same amount of time needed to heal the graft site. After that, strength returns to normal as the patient rehabs the knees from the original injury.

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