Allograft ACL Reconstructions

Allografts refers to human tissues from another person.  For a sports surgeon like myself, the common allografts used are tendon allografts for knee ligament reconstructions.

Tendon allografts are commonly used by me for ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) reconstructions.

My first choice graft is still the patient’s own hamstring tendons.  For various reasons, some patients may request or may require allograft or donor tendons.

I prefer to use the tibialis anterior tendons for such purposes.

Some examples of patients who need allograft/donor tendons are:

  1. Revision cases. A reconstructed ACL can rupture a second time. It is useful to have the option of using a donor tendon for such patients.
  2. Multiple ligament reconstructions.  In such cases, the patient may not have enough tendons  for reconstructions.  Sometimes we take the tendon from the patient’s normal leg but this may not be ideal.
  3. Patients who are older or people who prefer to have less post-surgery pain.  Allograft ACL reconstructions can be much less painful compared to reconstructions using the patient’s own tendons.

The advantages of allograft ACL reconstructions are:

  1. Less pain.
  2. Shorter surgery time.
  3. Smaller incision.
  4. Quicker recovery to walking.

There are disadvantages though:

  1. Small risk of disease transmission.
  2. Higher costs.
  3. Healing time for tendon to bond well with bone is longer.

Common questions answered:

  1. One can still return to sports at 6 to 9 months after surgery using allograft tendon.
  2. There is no tissue rejection.

An example of a famous footballer who had ACL reconstruction using allograft tendon is Michael Owen.

Allograft ACL Reconstruction

Michael Owen sustained an ACL tear in his knee during the World Cup game against Sweden in June 2006.   He seeked treatment with Dr Richard Steadman of Vail, Colorado, USA. 

Dr Steadman reconstructed Michael Owen’s right knee ACL using an allograft.

The following PDF file carries the story of one of my S-League player who underwent ACL and medial collateral ligament MCL reconstructions using tendon allografts.

The pros and cons of autografts versus allografts  tendons for ACL reconstructions are discussed.

click —>   Allograft ACL Reconstructions to read.

For more information on Allograft ACL Reconstructions, please contact us at 683 666 36 or email

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