ACL tears are very common, especially in highly active patients participating on sports that require quick moves such as basketball, soccer, volleyball and Lacrosse. It is also very common in skiing, particularly with rental skis when bindings do not release (the most common cause is simply twisting the knee via crossed ski tips while on easy runs or even approaching the lift line). Not all patients with ACL tears need surgery (most do) = those over 40, overweight who do not engage in high risk activity on a regular basis MAY be able to avoid surgery. For those that need/choose surgery, one of the most important decisions to be made by the patient and surgeon is which tissue to use as a graft to reconstruct the ACL (most of the time ACL REPAIR is not indicated and reconstruction is the gold standard). There are many reasons why one graft is better than the other in certain patients and the surgeon should inform patients of the science behind each decision. There remains controversy over whether patella tendon autograft is better that hamstring autograft. The study linked here is just one recent article that supports the current literature and helps confirm that BOTH are good choices with some slight increased failure rates in hamstring grafts.
To read the summary of the article, click here