When the anterior cruciate ligament is ruptured it may be reconstructed using material from the patient himself (an autograft). The most well-known autograft is that of the patellar tendon, the big strong tendon below the kneecap.
The central one third of this tendon can be 'harvested', together with a bone block at each end - the upper block from the patella (kneecap) itself and the lower block from the tibia bone (shin). This harvested tendon is thus 'bone-patellar tendon-bone' in structure.
The bone blocks at each end allow the tendon to be securely anchored once the autograft is threaded through to replace the torn cruciate.
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