Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction in 107 Competitive Wrestlers: Outcomes, Reoperations, and Return to Play at 6-Year Follow-up

Erick M. Marigi, Bryant M. Song, Jory N. Wasserburger, Christopher L. Camp, Bruce A. Levy, Michael J. Stuart, Kelechi R. Okoroha, Aaron J. Krych

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Wrestling is a physically demanding sport, with young athletes prone to anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries. There is a paucity of data evaluating the results of ACL reconstruction (ACLR) in this cohort. Purpose: To assess return to sport (RTS), patient-reported outcomes, reoperation rates, and graft survival after ACLR in a large cohort of competitive wrestlers at midterm follow-up. Study Design: Case series; Level of evidence, 4. Methods: We identified all competitive wrestlers (club, high school, collegiate, or professional) with a history of an ACLR at a single institution between 2000 and 2019. Graft failure was defined as a retear (as determined via clinical or advanced imaging evaluation) and/or revision ACLR. All patients were contacted for determination of reinjury rates; current sport status; and pain visual analog scale, International Knee Documentation Committee, and Tegner activity scores. Results: Included were 107 knees in 103 wrestlers, with a median follow-up time of 5.9 years (interquartile range [IQR], 3.9-10.3 years). The median age was 17 years (IQR, 15-18 years), with 106 (99%) male patients, and the distribution of bone–patellar tendon–bone (BTB) and hamstring tendon (HT) autografts was 64 (60%) and 43 (40%), respectively. At final follow-up, 80% of athletes were able to RTP at a median of 280 days (IQR, 212-381 days). Graft failure occurred in 14 (13%) knees at a median time of 1.8 years (IQR, 0.7-5.3 years) after the index ACLR. BTB autograft demonstrated a lower failure rate compared with HT autograft (8% vs 21%; P =.044) and was associated with better survival compared with HT autograft up to 15 years after the index ACLR (90.4% vs 76.3%; P =.030). When compared by graft diameter, HT autografts of at least 7.5 mm were not associated with a lower graft failure than BTB constructs of all sizes (P =.205). Conclusion: Return to competitive wrestling was observed in 80% of athletes after ACLR, with 14% of wrestlers experiencing graft failure. BTB autograft was associated with better survival than HT autograft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOrthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2022


  • ACL reconstruction
  • anterior cruciate ligament rupture
  • bone–patellar tendon–bone
  • return to sport
  • wrestling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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