Survivorship of allograft ACL reconstruction in adolescent patients

Alexander Soneru, John F Sarwark*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: The overall benefits of ACL reconstructive surgery in young athletes has been previously established. Graft selection for ACL reconstruction, specifically in this population however, remains controversial. The literature is limited and long-term survival rate of allograft ACL reconstruction in the adolescent population remains poorly defined. Current evidence, none level I, appears to demonstrate increased failure and subsequent revision rates in allograft reconstruction of complete ACL tears compared to autograft; 7–35% compared to 3–13% respectively. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate revision rate and functional outcomes of allograft ACL reconstruction in the adolescent population at extended follow-up. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed. Forty patients who underwent transphyseal ACL reconstruction with either bone patellar tendon bone (BTB) or Achilles tendon bone (ATB) allograft performed by a single surgeon over a 12-year period were identified. Demographic and surgical details were analyzed. Enrolled patients completed a Lysholm Knee Scoring Scale and a Tegner Activity Level Scale during phone interviews. All secondary surgeries performed on the ipsilateral knee were recorded. Results: Twenty-five patients were enrolled; fifteen were lost to follow-up. There were ten male and fifteen female patients included for analysis. Average age at index surgery was 16 years (range 13–18 years). BTB allograft was used for seven patients, and ATB allograft was used for the remaining eighteen patients. Average follow-up was 54 months (range 13–136 months). The average Lysholm score at follow-up was 87 (range 57–100). The average Tegner score at follow-up was 6.8 (range 3–10). Three patients underwent revision ACL surgery (12% study group, 7.5% all) for traumatic re-rupture. Re-rupture occurred 12, 13 and 38 months after index surgery. Conclusions: Autograft remains the standard for ACL reconstruction in the general pediatric population. In the adolescent population, however, the use of BTB or ATB allograft is a reasonable alternative with satisfactory outcomes, decreased harvest site morbidity, decreased post-operative pain and faster rehabilitation. The traumatic re-rupture rate in this series was similar to previously published traumatic failure rates in young adult athletes after reconstruction with autologous tissue (11–13%). Further prospective studies are needed to determine any true difference in the use of either allograft or autograft in the adolescent population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-13
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Orthopaedics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • ACL reconstruction
  • Adolescent
  • Allograft
  • Lysholm knee scoring scale
  • Tegner activity level scale

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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