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JRPMS Vol 2, No 4, December 2018, p.131-135

doi: 10.22540/JRPMS-02-131


Original Article

Posterior semitendinosus tendon harvesting minimizes the risk of injury to the infrapatellar and sartorial branches of the saphenous nerve

Panagiotis Kouloumentas1, Efstratios Kavroudakis1, Ioannis Tsekouras2, Efstathios Charalampidis1, Georgios Triantafyllopoulos1, Dimitris Kavroudakis3

  1. Clinic of Orthopaedics and Sports Orthopaedics, Metropolitan Hospital, Athens, Greece
  2. Department of Nutrition and Clinical Dietetics, Harokopeio University, Athens, Greece
  3. Department of Geography, University of Aegean, Greece

Keywords: Saphenous nerve, Short grafts, All-inside, ACL reconstruction, Posterior ST harvest


There are several reports of iatrogenic injury to the saphenous nerve branches during anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction attributed to tendon harvesting through an anterior approach. Other investigators advocate that there is virtually no nerve damage when the tendons are harvested through a posteromedial knee incision. The aim of the present study was to compare the incidence of iatrogenic injury to the infrapatellar and sartorial branches of the saphenous nerve with anterior and posterior tendon harvesting. A prospective, randomized clinical study was conducted comparing patients treated with ACL reconstruction employing the conventional technique with a semitendinosus/gracilis autograft versus the all-inside technique with a short, quadrupled semitendinosus autograft. Tendon harvesting for these two groups was performed through the anterior and the posterior approach, respectively. Skin sensation of the anterior aspect of the operated knee and tibia was assessed by the pin prick test and was compared to the contralateral side. No sensory alterations were noted on the anteromedial aspect of the operated knee and tibia in patients of the posterior harvest group.