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Double-bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using autologous hamstrings with LARS augmentation demonstrates comparable outcomes to hamstrings alone, without evidence of synovitis or early osteoarthritis

Abstract

Purpose

To compare the clinical and radiological outcomes in patients undergoing anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) with, or without, LARS augmentation.

Methods

One-hundred and thirty-six patients that underwent double-bundle ACLR with (DB Hams/LARS, n = 67), or without (DB Hams, n = 69), LARS augmentation, were assessed clinically and with Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) at a minimum of 7-years post-surgery. Patients were assessed via patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs), KT-1000 (laxity), isokinetic knee extensor and flexor strength and a 4-hop test battery. Limb symmetry indices (LSIs) were calculated. The Whole-Organ Magnetic Resonance Imaging Score (WORMS) evaluated knee status via MRI. Sport participation, secondary operations, ACL re-tears and contralateral ACL tears were reported.

Results

No differences (n.s.) were observed in demographics, PROMs, KT-1000 scores or strength and hop LSIs. Normal (< 3 mm side-to-side differences) KT-1000 scores were observed in 64 (92.8%) and 59 (88.1%) of DB Hams and DB Hams/LARS patients, respectively. Comparative rates of satisfaction were reported. Knee flexor strength and hop test LSIs were all ˃95% in both groups, which was 94.2% and 96.7% for knee extensor strength in the DB Hams and DB Hams/LARS cohorts, respectively. While 53 (76.8%) and 52 (77.6%) of the DB Hams and DB Hams/LARS patients had returned to pivoting sports, 42 (60.9%) and 41 (61.2%) were participating in pivoting sports at the minimum 7-year review. No difference (n.s.) was observed in the WORMS (12.3 DB Hams, 16.7 DB Hams/LARS). Of the cohort assessed, 8 (11%) DB Hams and 11 (16%) DB Hams/LARS patients had undergone secondary surgery. In addition to one patient in each group that demonstrated ACL rupture on MRI, an additional cohort of patients were excluded from the current analysis due to prior re-tear (DB Hams n = 6, DB Hams/LARS n = 8) or contralateral ACL tear (DB Hams n = 4, DB Hams/LARS n = 4).

Conclusions

Comparable outcomes were observed after double-bundle ACLR using autologous hamstrings with, or without, LARS augmentation. Therefore, while these outcomes do not justify the additional use of synthetic augmentation given the lack of further benefit and additional cost, higher rates of graft failure, synovitis and early osteoarthritic change previously reported were not observed.

Level of Evidence

III.

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Fig. 1

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Funding

Independent funding in the form of a research grant was provided by Corin to assist this research.

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Correspondence to Jay R. Ebert.

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Ethics approval was obtained by the Hollywood Private Hospital (HPH382).

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Ebert, J.R., Nairn, R., Breidahl, W. et al. Double-bundle anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using autologous hamstrings with LARS augmentation demonstrates comparable outcomes to hamstrings alone, without evidence of synovitis or early osteoarthritis. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 30, 2320–2328 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-021-06801-7

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00167-021-06801-7

Keywords

  • Anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction
  • Augmentation
  • Clinical outcomes
  • Re-tears
  • Return to sport
  • Knee function