What is a tissue allograft?
Allografts are another viable option for reconstructing the cruciate ligaments. These grafts, harvested from donor tissue, are typically the preferred choice for patients with multiple knee ligament injuries or multiple prior ACL reconstructions. While the donated tissue can be grafted from the patellar, hamstring, or Achilles tendons, the option of donor tissue provides several other possibilities for tendon grafts. Before a tissue bank accepts donations, the tissues are sterilized and thoroughly tested. Any cells, blood, or other living components are then removed as part of tissue processing to reduce the risk of tissue rejection after surgery.
However, much like any other surgery, there are some associated risks with implementing allografts. Some studies have suggested that the processing of donor tissue may impact its natural strength therefore is not as strong as an autograft. Although rare, the slightly weakened strength may result in graft failure, particularly in athletes and young individuals.