Prevalence and clinical implications of nerve injury during bone patellar tendon bone harvesting for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction

Barak Haviv*, Mustafa Yassin, Ehud Rath, Shlomo Bronak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Tendon harvesting for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction often injure sensory branches of the saphenous nerve (SN). Our purpose was to estimate the prevalence and postoperative course of sensory nerve injuries in bone patellar tendon bone (BPTB) autograft harvesting for ACL reconstruction. Methods: Between 2012 and 2014, patients who had primary ACL with BPTB autograft were included (n = 60) and interviewed specifically for sensory loss and its recovery. The surface area of sensory loss was documented. Evaluation also included demographic details, level of activity, and description of postoperative sensation disturbances. Results: The mean postoperative follow-up time was 24 ± 14 months. At the last follow-up, 46 (77%) patients reported on postoperative reduced sensation; however, only 35 (58%) remained with sensation loss. The most involved region of reduced sensation was of the infrapatellar branch of the SN. Three patients claimed they regret to have had the surgery specifically because of sensation loss and kneeling difficulties, while all others did not. Conclusion: Primary ACL reconstruction using the midline incision for harvesting the middle third of the patellar tendon autograft has a high prevalence of sensory nerve injury with a minor possibility for complete recovery within the first year. However, sensory loss secondary to this injury does not impair normal daily activities in these patients.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic Surgery
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Keywords

  • Anterior cruciate ligament
  • Nerve injury
  • Patellar tendon graft

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