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.

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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