Sonographic evaluation of the patellar tendon following graft harvesting for ACL reconstruction

G. Sperner, K. P. Benedetto, W. Glotzer, K. Golser, S. Zaffagnini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The patellar tendon is the most common biological tissue for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) replacement. Usually the central third of the tendon is harvested as a bone-ligament-bone block. If a further injury occurs or the first reconstruction fails, another repair may be necessary. The aim of this study was to find out what happens to the remaining two thirds of the patellar tendon and to see whether it could be re-used for ACL-reconstruction after a certain interval. Ultrasonography was performed in the same twenty patients at 6 weeks, then at 3, 6 and 12 months after operation. Measurements were also made in 78 patients at two years and in 66 patients at three years after reconstruction. The operated knee was compared with the uninvolved side. The length of the patellar tendon was found to be shorter on the operated knee but without statistical significance. The greatest width of the tendon was found on measurement at 6 weeks after operation. Subsequentiy it decreased over the next three years. The maximum thickness was measured at 3 months postoperatively. Following this, it decreased slowly but never returned to its preoperative state during the period of follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)72-80
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Traumatology and Related Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • ACL reconstruction
  • bone-ligament-bone block
  • patellar ligament
  • sonography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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