One of the most notorious injuries, ACL tear! Martial art brothers and sisters, knee instability is a major drawback from practices. Make sure you go through proper medical help.

So, for those folks who finished the repair surgery, what graft do you have? Often, your surgeons take out some portion of hamstrings tendon or patella ligament. No worries, at the end of the day, either graft works similarly to increase stability for your knee in long term (3-15.3 years).

When I was working at UCSD, I got to observe ACL reconstruction surgery. I had a great discussion with the surgeon. It depends on doctor which graft he/she utilizes, but here are some pros and cons in general:

Hamstrings Graft

Pros:

  1. Less symptomatic after surgery
  2. Good return of  preinjury level of activity
  3. Little early start for rehab

Cons:

  1. Tends to be more $$$
  2. More complicated
  3. Rehab progress is slow due to longer recovery time (longer time for bone-graft integration)

Patella Ligament Graft

Pros:

  1. Good graft tension for longer time
  2. Good return of preinjury level of activity
  3. Tends to be less $
  4. Healing time is faster

Cons:

  1. More symptomatic, front knee pain, patellofemoral osteoarthritis
  2. Potential knee extension motion deficit
  3. Quadriceps weakness

These studies tell us above pros and cons! But, again, you and the subjects in each research are different! Your athletic activity, goals, movement patterns vary from person to person. The evidence is not equal to the fact. It’s a mean, average. Talk to your surgeon thoroughly and please decide what graft is the best for you and for the future recovery/rehabilitation potential‼

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