Evaluating the functional results and complications of autograft vs allograft use for reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament: a systematic review

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Ojas Pujji
  • Nikita Keswani
  • Naomi Collier
  • Marion Black
  • Lucy Doos

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham


The aim of our review is to identify the reconstruction technique that has a superior functional outcome and decreased number of complications for the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). We have divided our review into 2 sections. Our primary question evaluates the functional results and complications of autografts compared to allografts for ACL reconstruction. Our subsidiary question evaluates the functional results and complications of bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) autografts compared to hamstring tendon autografts. We conducted a systematic review (SR) based on high quality evidence provided by Cochrane, PubMed and National Health Service evidence searches for papers comparing different ACL reconstruction techniques. Results from 2 primary studies, 1 SR and 1 meta-analysis showed no significant statistical difference when comparing clinical outcomes such as pain, range of motion, laxity, International Knee Documentation Committee score, single assessment numerical evaluation score, Tegner activity score and patient reported satisfaction with regards to autografts vs allografts. Allografts had worse outcomes for postoperative tibial tunnelling and graft failure. Results of 3 SRs showed statistically significant differences in incidence of anterior knee pain, kneeling pain and knee stability, which were all found to be greater amongst those who had received a BPTB autograft. Knee extension was significantly reduced in patients with BPTB grafts when compared to patients with Hamstring tendon autografts. However, with regards to return to prior levels of activity, there was no statistically significant difference between those that received BPTB autografts and those that received Hamstring tendon autografts. Autograft reconstruction of the ACL was shown to provide better postoperative outcomes when compared to allograft reconstruction, although the difference was not statistically significant. When researching different autograft options BPTB autografts were associated with greater pain but also greater stability of the knee joint postoperatively when compared to hamstring tendon autografts.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-37
JournalOrthopaedic Review
Issue number6833
Early online date29 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Autografts, Allografts, Anterior cruciate ligament, Reconstruction