Ligamets for Reconstruction Therapy
Allogeneic ligaments are ligaments or tendons which are harvested from a cadaver donor. These ligaments and tendons are harvested from the donor at the same time that the kidney, heart, liver, and other organs would be harvested. (20) Unlike organs which are harvested, allografts do not exhibit an immunologic rejection from the recipient; surgeons don't have to worry about rejection of the graft. This is because there are no living cells in the graft for the immune system to attack. The graft simply becomes the new ligament.
Allografts are typically used to treat chronic ligament problems; most athletes have acute ligament problems. There are three main types of allografts used: patellar tendon, semitendinous-gracilis tendons of the hamstrings, and achilles tendon. Most athletic physicians preferred the patellar tendon allograft if they use an allograft. (4) This is probably still due to the fact that they think that the patellar tendon is much stronger than any of the other tendons or ligaments.
The benefits of using the allograft in comparison to an auto graft is that there are much more options, there is a smaller incision, less trauma to the knee, less surgical time, and less surgical morbidity. (22)
All exhibit similar properties as for autografts, approximately 7% long-term failure rate. (21) There is some concern among trainers and surgeons about the durability of the autografts due to the current methods of preservation. Usually the allografts are frozen from the time of donation to. If at all possible, it is preferred to do the transplant without preserving the tissue, especially when dealing with athletes.