New data provides direction for ACL injured knee treatments

February 11, 2012, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine

Primary Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) reconstruction improves quality of life and sports functionality for athletes, according to research presented today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day in San Francisco, CA.

"ACL have long been a source of problems for athletes, and we are excited to have such a large body of data to evaluate different treatments," said Jüri T Kartus, MD, Department of Orthopaedics, NU-Hospital Organization, Sweden. "To see patients improving in the years following surgery is a great indicator of what we are doing right."

The study examined data from the Swedish National ACL Reconstruction Register, which began compiling patient information in 2005. The Register consists of both patient and surgeon reported data, including the Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome (KOOS) score for quality and function after surgery, cause of injury, previous surgeries, time between injury and reconstruction, and graft type. Approximately 90 percent of all ACL reconstructions performed annually in Sweden are reported.

"With more than 18,000 people already in the Register, we are excited about the volume of cases we will be able to assess in the future," noted Kartus. "We hope continued evaluation of the data will help us determine the best methods for ACL ."

Researchers also noted other highlights, including a major risk for young female soccer players reinjuring their ACL after surgery, and lower success rates for smokers over non-smokers in reconstructions. Researchers also found that found that revision ACL reconstructions did worse than primary ones and that patients found to have meniscal or chondral injury at the time of surgery did somewhat worse at 5 years.

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