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Young Injured Athletes May Fare Better when Treated with Autograft ACL

Studies suggest that young athletes who underwent anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction with allograft were ~7 times more likely to require revision surgery vs. those who received autograft. Further, ACL allograft reconstructions were found to fail much earlier, on average, than autograft.

The study tracked 120 patients with a total of 122 ACL reconstructions. Of those, 106 were reconstructed with autograft, while the remaining patients received donor tissue. Of the 106, 20 reconstructions failed. Of the failed recons, ~12% were from surgeries using autgraft, while ~44% arose from reconstructions using donated tissue.

According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, ~150,000 ACL injuries occur annually in the U.S.


Autograft ACL repair better in young athletes: study. Seaman A, Reuters, May 2, 2012.

Survival Comparison of Allograft and Autograft Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction at the United States Military Academy. LTC Mark Pallis, DO et al, Am J Sports Med June 2012 vol. 40 no. 6 1242-1246.