Research consortium identifies predictors of successful ACL reconstruction

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Cleveland: Researchers have found that a patient's age and the type of tissue graft have a direct impact on ACL reconstructive surgery (ACLR) outcomes, according to an exhibit presented March 11 at the 2014 American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) annual meeting in New Orleans.

Researchers from Cleveland Clinic and six other member institutions will present findings on surgical reconstruction of anterior cruciate ligaments from the Multicenter Orthopaedics Outcomes Network (MOON), led by Cleveland Clinic's Kurt Spindler, M.D., principal investigator of the project for over 10 years.

"The goal is to improve a majority of ACL reconstruction outcomes and highlight the changes in ACLR practice. For instance, the use of auto-graft (vs. allograft) tissue resulted in lower percent failure after ACLR surgery for high school, college, and competitive athletes," said Dr. Spindler, Vice Chairman of Research at Cleveland Clinic's Orthopaedic & Rheumatologic Institute. "This is the first time we looked at risk factors and found that with the right combination, athletes can avoid complete failure and future ACL reconstructions post-surgery."

MOON consists of 17 surgeons from seven institutions. It has helped to establish a new "gold standard" for conducting multi-center, multi-surgeon orthopaedic research.

"This is a compilation of all of the clinically important questions we've answered that will positively benefit patients and enhance their quality of life," said Richard D. Parker, M.D., Chair of Orthopaedic Surgery at Cleveland Clinic.

MOON is a hypothesis-driven, prospective study designed to determine prognosis and predictors of ACLR outcomes. The project has provided a model for multicenter, multi-surgeon orthopaedic research and comparative effectiveness research in orthopaedics. The MOON consortium was created in 2001, and enrolled and followed 2,340 ACLR procedures from seven institutions.

With an estimated 200,000 ACLRs performed annually in the U.S., there is an emphasis to help guide more informed, personalized decision making between physicians and patients. Other modifications include treatment options for meniscus and cartilage injuries, as well as post-ACLR lifestyle choices.

Dr. Spindler recently joined Cleveland Clinic after 23 years as Head Team Physician, Director of Sports Medicine, and Vice Chairman of Orthopaedics at Vanderbilt University. He returned to Cleveland Clinic after a sports medicine/orthopaedics fellowship in 1990-91.

The presentation will take place 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday, March 11.


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