Semitendinosus Muscle Fatty Infiltration Following Tendon Harvest In Rabbits

Document Type


Publication Date



The hamstring tendon autograft is one of the most commonly used graft choices in Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction. There are conflicting results regarding postoperative hamstring strength deficits in patients who have had a hamstring graft. The semitendinosus tendon has been shown to regenerate after harvesting for ACL autograft, suggesting that the muscle has the potential to regain normal function. However, no studies have been performed to define the microstructural changes that occur in the semitendinosus muscle after tendon resection. In this study, we hypothesized that fatty infiltration of the semitendinosus muscle after tendon harvest in New Zealand White rabbits increases postoperatively and remains constant or increases during the first year of repair. The semitendinosus tendon was unilaterally detached and harvested from 15 rabbits. Five rabbits were sacrificed at 3‐, 6‐, and 12‐month intervals, and the semitendinosus muscle‐tendon units were analyzed. The contralateral unoperated limb served as the control. The gross tendon and muscle dimensions and histologic percentage of fatty infiltration were measured. We found no significant difference in fatty infiltration at any time point between the control muscle and test specimens and that there was no progression of fatty infiltration over time. If these results hold true in humans, natural repair of the hamstring muscle following tendon harvest during ACL autograft reconstruction is not inhibited by fatty infiltration.



Find in your library

Off-Campus WSU Users