LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Athletic orthopedic specialist Judson Penton says his study to improve ACL surgeries is the answer to helping patients get back to what they love to do.

Penton says the study came after an article revealed smaller grafts in patients had a failure rate of more than 30%. He immediately began working to find the solution.

“At that point, I was like what can I do different to decrease this failure rate in patient populations,” he said.

Penton says adding the sartorius tendon to a common four-strand graft significantly increases the overall graft size and strength. The increase in graft size is important because, in most cases, an ACL cannot be repaired. In order to fix the injury, a graft must be used to form a new ACL.

Increasing the graft size increases an athlete’s chances of returning to their sport. This discovery is good news for female and younger athletes who, statistically, have naturally smaller grafts.

“Size does matter. Especially in that patient population so they can at least have a better chance of returning to what they want to do,” Penton said.

Penton says there are two parts to the study. The actual procedure itself and at least two years of follow-up data. The full study can be accessed here.