15:42 PM

Repair or Reconstruction: What's Best for ACL Tears?

HealthDay reports on preliminary research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine (AOSSM) 2022 annual meeting comparing repair and reconstruction procedures of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and includes commentary from Andrew D. Pearle, MD, chief of sports medicine at HSS, who was not involved in the study. 

Dr. Pearle said ACL repair is “an important tool to have in our armamentarium,” but advised that the risk of re-injury in young patients should be taken seriously.

According to Dr. Pearle, “For young athletes, repair has what I consider an unacceptable revision rate.”

A repeat rupture, he noted, can damage other tissue in the knee — including cartilage cushioning the joint.

Dr. Pearle added that for adults who are not heavily into “cutting” sports, like soccer and basketball, ACL repair can be an option.

Additionally, another choice for the relatively older, non-athletic crowd: Physical therapy, without surgery.

Dr. Pearle explained that some people are “copers.” That is, their knee joint is stable enough for their usual activities, even without an ACL. Other, not-so-lucky people are “non-copers,” and without an ACL they end up with a “trick knee” that routinely buckles. (Unfortunately, Pearle noted, there's no way to predict which patients will be copers.)

One question the new findings do not address, Dr. Pearle said, is how ACL repair compares against physical therapy alone for relatively older patients. That would be a valuable study, he noted.

Read the full article at Healthday.com.