Long-term studies of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) repairs are beginning to filter into the literature. Some studies compare the results of the two most commonly used graft methods: patellar tendon graft (PTG) and hamstring tendon graft (HTG).
It seems the functional results are pretty good using either method. Up to 97 per cent of patients with either graft have normal or close to normal motion, strength, and function. Patients with the PTG tend to have more problems at the graft site. Since their graft is taken from the patellar tendon along the front of the knee, pain with kneeling can be a problem.
In one study from Australia, a single surgeon compared 90 patients with a PTG against 90 patients with a HTG. After 10 years, there were only a couple differences between the groups. The PTG group had more knee pain and more knee osteoarthritis. They also were more likely to rupture the other ACL. Researchers aren't sure yet why that might happen.
The hope and expectation is that you will have just as many years with your repaired knee as with your normal knee. This is considered the ideal