The hamstring may have it, a study finds. In research presented at a recent meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in San Diego, 180 people ranging from 13 to 52 years old who had ACL reconstruction surgery were followed for 15 years. Half of the patients had a knee tendon graft, and the others had a hamstring tendon graft. Symptoms such as knee mobility, pain and swelling were measured at two, five, seven, 10 and 15 years from the beginning of the study.
Those who had the knee tendon graft had much worse results than those who had the hamstring graft after 15 years. Overall the hamstring group reported less knee pain and discomfort but higher levels of activity than the knee tendon group.
Among those in the hamstring tendon group, 77% could do at least strenuous activities,compared with 62% in the knee group. When it came to assessing pain while kneeling, 26% of the hamstring group and 42% of those in the knee group said they had aches. The knee group also reported worse results for osteoarthritis and loss of motion.