High Return To Play And Low Reinjury Rates In National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Football Players Following Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction Using Quadrupled Hamstring Autograft

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Arthroscopy - Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the outcomes of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction using quadrupled hamstring (QH) autograft in a cohort of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I football players. Methods: A retrospective analysis was performed on NCAA Division I football players at a single institution who had transtibial ACL reconstruction using QH autograft between 2001 and 2016. Primary outcomes were ACL reinjury and return to play (RTP). Secondary outcomes were position, percent of eligibility used after surgery, graft diameter, Tegner-Lysholm scores, concomitant injuries/surgeries, and postcollegiate professional play. Results: Between 2001 and 2016, 34 players had QH autograft ACL reconstruction, and 29 players achieved RTP. Of the 29, 2 (6.9%) sustained ACL reinjuries. The average RTP was 318 days (range 115-628) after surgery. Players used 79.5% of their remaining collegiate eligibility after surgery. Nine players sustained multiligamentous knee injuries. This did not have a significant effect on RTP (P = 0.709; mean 306±24 days for isolated ACL, mean of 353±51 for 2 ligaments, mean of 324±114 for 3 + ligaments) and none sustained reinjury. Associated meniscal injuries were sustained by 28, and 8 sustained chondral injuries. The mean postoperative Tegner-Lysholm score was 90.7 of 100, with mean follow-up of 102 months. Of these players, 18 went on to play professionally, with 17 joining National Football League rosters and 1 an arena team roster. Conclusion: QH demonstrated an ACL reinjury and RTP rates similar to those in previously published, predominantly bone-patella tendon-bone ACL reinjury data in elite athletes. This study demonstrates that QH autograft may be a viable option in elite athletes. Level of Evidence: IV, case series.

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