OT: Hamstring vs Patella ACL

OT: Hamstring vs Patella ACL

Submitted by a non emu on March 24th, 2010 at 5:37 PM

Since I consider MGOBOARD my own personal oracle, I've come to you guys to help me decide.

I tore my right ACL and meniscus playing basketball last week. It is pretty stiff at the moment, and I just managed to start hobbling around without crutches. I've seen a couple of doctors, and the first one will either do a Patella, or an Allograft (graft from a cadaver), and the second one will only do a hamstring graft, and claims the long term outcomes are actually better with a hamstring graft since I won't have to deal with with tendonitis, and (possible) life long pain at the site of the graft. However, stuff I've read online indicates that the Patella actually holds up better and that the re-rupture rate is lower as well.

Two years ago, I had surgery on my left knee to fix a torn ACL (have I mentioned yet that I hate my knees?), and used the Patella graft that time around. I have to say that although the knee has never felt unstable since, I still have a constant low grade ache that I haven't managed to shake off. Additionally, I cannot kneel for any length of time on my left knee.

So, I am confused. The stronger graft, but long term pain, or the hamstring with long term hamstring weakness, and the potentially weaker graft? Added to this, the allograft, which sounds appealing due to it being minimally invasive, and having a quicker recovery schedule. But tempered against a small risk of infection, and again, possibly a weaker graft.

Anybody have experience with the hamstring, or the Allograft? Any problems since? Help me decide, oh MGOBOARD!