Current Trends in Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction

ACL Survey Results

January 2009 – OrthoSupersite –  Thomas R. Duquin, MD; William M. Wind, MD; Marc S. Fineberg, MD; Robert J. Smolinski, MD; Cathy M. Buyea, MS

In 2006, a survey regarding anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction was mailed to physician members of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. A total of 993 responses were received from 1747 possible respondents (57%). The number of ACL reconstructions per year ranged from 1 to 275 (mean = 55).

The most important factors in the timing of surgery were knee range of motion and effusion. Bone-patellar tendon-bone (BPTB) autograft was most commonly preferred (46%), followed by hamstring tendon autograft (32%) and allografts (22%).

Five years earlier, BPTB grafts were more frequent and hamstring tendon and allografts were less frequent (63%, 25%, and 12%, respectively). A single-incision arthroscopic technique was used by 90%. Most allowed return to full activity at 5 to 6 months, with a trend toward earlier return for BPTB grafts; quadriceps strength was an important factor in the decision. There was limited experience (4%) with double-bundle and computer-assisted ACL reconstruction.

Arthroscopic-assisted, single-incision reconstruction using a BPTB autograft fixed with metal interference screws remains the most common technique used for primary ACL reconstruction. In the past 5 years, the use of alternative graft sources and methods of fixation has increased. Consensus regarding the best graft type, fixation method, and postoperative protocol is still lacking.

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Rick Kaselj[email protected]
Registered Kinesiologist Specializing in Injury Rehabilitation
Surrey, BC, Canada

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