Patient and surgeon characteristics associated with primary anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction graft selection

Maria C S Inacio, Elizabeth W Paxton, Gregory B Maletis, Rick P Csintalan, Lars-Petter Granan, Donald C Fithian, Tadashi T Funahashi

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38 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: It has been suggested that a surgeon's experience and training are the most important factors associated with graft selection, but no studies have qualified this association. Graft usage prevalence has not been described for large anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) populations in the United States.

PURPOSE: To describe the prevalence of graft usage in a large community-based practice and evaluate the association of patient, surgeon, and site characteristics with choice of primary ACLR graft.

STUDY DESIGN: Cross-sectional study; Level of evidence, 3.

METHODS: Primary ACLRs performed between February 2005 and June 2010 were selected for the study. A community-based ligament registry was used to identify cases and variables used for analysis. Graft choice (any allograft, hamstring autograft, and bone-patellar tendon-bone [BPTB] autograft) was compared by patient characteristics and surgeon and site characteristics. Associations between independent variables and graft choice were evaluated using a polychotomous regression model.

RESULTS: Of the 9849 patients included in the study, 64% were male, and overall median age was 28 years. Of these, 2796 (28.4%) received BPTB autografts, 3013 (30.6%) received hamstring autografts, and 4040 (41.0%) received allografts. The prevalence of graft source by patients' gender, race, age, body mass index (BMI), as well as surgeons' fellowship training status, average volume, and site volume were significantly different (all P < .001). Adjusted models showed that patients' gender (P < .001), race (P = .018), age (P < .001), BMI (P < .001), as well as surgeons' fellowship training status (P < .001), average volume (P < .001), and site volume (P < .001) are associated with graft selection. Older and female patients with lower BMI were more likely to receive allografts and hamstring autografts than BPTB autografts. Cases performed by non-fellowship-trained surgeons, lower volume sites, and/or lower volume surgeons were also more likely to be performed with allografts or hamstring autografts than BPTB autografts.

CONCLUSION: Gender, age, race, as well as facility and surgeon characteristics such as volume and location are associated with ACL graft choices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-45
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Feb 2012


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
  • Body Mass Index
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical, Graduate
  • Fellowships and Scholarships
  • Female
  • General Surgery
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Sex Factors
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Young Adult
  • Journal Article

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