| research/study

How Good is ACL Surgery? Not that Effective for Preventing Re-injuries

New Research Offers Refined Evaluation of Commonly Used Techniques

Results of new research presented last week at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine in Toronto confirm the efficacy of 3 commonly used surgical techniques used to treat tears of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Author and presenter Nicholas Mohtadi, MD, MSc, FRCSC, with the University of Calgary Sports Medicine Centre, said, “Our research showed patients overwhelmingly see improvements with the patellar tendon, hamstring tendon, and double-bundle surgical techniques, though re-injuries are more common in the hamstring tendon and double-bundle approach. Re-injuries rates approach 30% in younger active patients. Our main focus should be to prevent these injuries.”

In the study, characterized by the authors as the only double-blinded, randomized clinical trial of its kind, 315 patients were assigned to 1 of the defined surgical approaches, with postsurgical follow up at 3 and 6 months, and again at 1-, 2-, and 5-year intervals thereafter. The research examiner was also blinded to the treatment approach used. Outcomes were measured via 32-item questionnaire to assess Anterior Cruciate Ligament Quality of Life (ACL-QOL). Dr. Mohtadi commented: “We hope this data can continue to help physicians manage patient care and treatment of ACL injuries.” 

Read a news story about the findings.

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