Historically, the patellar tendon graft has been the most widely used graft of choice, and still is. However, the quad tendon graft is an intriguing option for ACL reconstruction that may have more desirable outcomes in certain patient populations.
Things are changing though. The patellar tendon grafts have also had a higher incidence of prolonged patellar tendinitis after surgery. Almost 1 in 10 have to delay their return to sport because of this issue.
Why use it? Because of a lower incidence of re-tearing when compared to the hamstring or a cadaver graft.
When to Consider the Quad Tendon graft for your ACL reconstruction if:
1. You Already Have A History Of Patellar Tendonitis Or Patellar Tendon Issues.
In this case, use of a patellar tendon graft can aggravate this and may not be the best graft choice.
2. You Are A Young (<25 Yo) Athlete.
Cadaver grafts have an unacceptably high re-rupture rate in this group. If you are under the age of twenty five, consider the quad tendon graft.