A 10-year follow up from the Swedish National Knee Ligament Registry, has revealed a higher rate of patients are satisfied with results after ACL reconstruction than with a non-surgical approach. This new research follows on from previous studies that have revealed the benefits of an ACL repair compared to non-surgical treatments.
Here, we will look at what the study found and whether a surgical approach is the right option for patients.
Study shows higher satisfaction rate after surgery
The study used data from the Swedish National Knee Ligament Registry, comparing surgical and non-surgical treatment at 1, 2, 5, and 10 years after an ACL reconstruction. There were 982 patients included in the non-surgical group, each of them matched with 9 patients who underwent surgery.
Researchers discovered that those who underwent an ACL reconstruction had a higher Knee Injury and Osteoarthritis Outcome Score (KOOS), and Quality of Life (QOL) score compared to those who didn’t.
Those who had surgery reported better knee function, were able to return to sports, and they suffered less pain than those who were treated with a non-surgical approach.
Should all ACL patients be treated with a surgical approach?
Although surgery to repair an ACL injury can produce excellent results, it might not necessarily be for everyone. Some patients may not be suitable for surgery, or the injury may be mild, so it doesn’t need to be surgically repaired.
There has been very little research carried out to determine the long-term effectiveness of a non-surgical approach. This latest research, however, suggests that it doesn’t provide the same level of benefits as surgery in the long-term.
By repairing the ACL injury early, patients can benefit from a better quality of life with reduced pain and increased mobility.
What is ACL reconstruction?
An ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure carried out on the knee. It aims to replace the damaged ligament, helping the knee to function correctly. Typically, you will be recommended ACL reconstruction if:
- You have a manual or physical job
- You want to return to sport such as netball, hockey rugby or football
- You have instability of the knee
- Other parts of the knee are also damaged
During the procedure, the damaged ligament is replaced with a graft. This is typically another tendon that has been taken from a different part of the body. The surgeon will typically carry out an ACL reconstruction using keyhole surgery. This minimises scarring, while also reducing the risks and complications of surgery.
To find out if an ACL reconstruction could be the right option for you, book a consultation with Mr Webb today. After assessing the damage, he will recommend the best course of treatment to fix the ACL injury.