Background: Semitendinosus and gracilis tendons may regenerate after harvesting for ligament reconstruction procedures. However, predictive factors of tendon regeneration and the extent of functional recovery remain unclear. Purpose: To identify predictive factors for hamstring tendon regeneration and to examine the morbidity of nonregenerated hamstring tendons. Study Design: Cohort study; Level of evidence, 3. Methods: Of the 154 patients who were included in a prospective follow-up study, 79 underwent reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament entailing the hamstring tendons and met the following inclusion criteria: (1) anterior cruciate ligament rupture diagnosed by physical examination and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), (2) MRI within 6 months after trauma, (3) age between 18 and 45 years, and (4) 2-year follow-up MRI data available. Hamstring tendon regeneration was assessed as complete if a tendon-like structure could be visualized at the level of the joint line or more cranially. Patient characteristics—such as age, sex, body mass index, alcohol/nicotine use, activity level (Tegner scores), and functional instability (1-legged hop test)—were evaluated preoperatively and at 2 years to determine predictive factors for tendon regeneration or examine functional recovery of hamstring tendon regeneration. Results: At 2 years’ follow-up, 67.1% of the patients showed regeneration of semitendinosus tendons, 81.0% of gracilis tendons, and 59.5% of both tendons. The likelihood of semitendinosus tendon regeneration significantly decreased with aging (odds ratio [OR], 0.92 change per year of age; 95% CI, 0.84-0.99; P =.03) and smoking (OR, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.05-0.77; P =.02). No predictive factor was found for gracilis tendon regeneration. Regeneration of the semitendinosus and gracilis tendons was negatively related with smoking (OR, 0.22; 95% CI, 0.06-0.79; P =.02). Patients without regeneration showed similar postoperative visual analog scale scores during physical activity, similar Tegner scores, and a significant decrease of the upper leg circumference, as compared with their preoperative results. Regardless of the regeneration status, 1-legged hop test results significantly increased at 2-year follow-up. Conclusion: Hamstring tendon regeneration occurs less frequently in older patients and in smokers. However, absence of regenerated tendons does not seem to cause a loss of function.

anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, functional outcome, hamstring tendon regeneration, predictive factors, recovery,
American Journal of Sports Medicine
Department of Orthopaedics

Suijkerbuijk, M.A.M, Reijman, M, Oei, E.H.G, van Meer, B.L, Arkel, E.R, & Meuffels, D.E. (2018). Predictive Factors of Hamstring Tendon Regeneration and Functional Recovery After Harvesting: A Prospective Follow-up Study. American Journal of Sports Medicine, 46(5), 1166–1174. doi:10.1177/0363546517751660